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Structuring Your Lean Transformation Implementation Plan

by Mike on Tuesday, August 27, 2013 12:10 PM

The development of the Implementation Plan consists of defining the steps needed to achieve the design objectives and creating the control infrastructure for daily and weekly implementation activities. The leadership must approve the plan prior to implementing it. The Implementation Plan typically is broken down into a number of work streams that tie back to the Design Phase Document and has a duration of no more than 12 weeks. We have used Tactical Implementation Plans (TIPs) to provide a structured approach.


Tactical Implementation Plans are a set of structured documents that set the direction, responsibilities, and task focus for the lean transformation to achieve the Future State as defined in the Design.


The process of creating TIPs defines the optimal loop sequence and the required activities in these loops. Ensuring this success is a process of moving each value stream through the 5 basic steps of deployment: Stabilize, Flow, Takt, Pull, and Sustain.


TIPs are used for progress reviews during the implementation phase.  Created once during the planning phase, TIPs should be kept unchanged for the duration of the Lean Transformation.  The Plan is tiered in three layers to show different levels of detail for different review audiences.


Level Zero, the highest level plan for entire project, is scoped across all value stream loops and cross-linked initiatives.  The Level Zero TIP:

·      Is owned by the Manufacturing or Operations Director

·      Is signed off by department heads

·      Includes all top level actions within a loop, that in turn is connected to business need via performance measurements


Level One owners report progress to the Steering Committee weekly at a Level Zero meeting.  Level One TIPs are written to support each of the work streams being transformed.  Each Level One TIP has 1 TIP document per value stream loop/work stream.  Level One TIPs:

·      Are a detailed plan identifying the major tasks due on a weekly basis during the implementation period

·      Are owned by the area manager or work stream owner

·      Are written for all key work streams owned by area members

·      Must be signed-off by local support functions

·      Are reviewed weekly. Work stream owners report progress to Level 1 owner


Level Two TIPs are written to support each of the work stream tasks being transformed.  These Level Two TIPs are the lowest level line-by-line work plan for selected activities only.  Level Two Tips:

·      Must be created by change agents and identify specific actions

·      Identify each activity in sequence and have ownership accepted by the person who executes it

·      Becomes a detailed planning and tracking document

A Level Two TIP could potentially not be created upfront.  Other planning forms could be utilized like team boards or action plans that are continuously filled week-by-week or day-by-day.  The Level Two TIPs or their equivalents, must be reviewed daily by the change team and work stream owners. Performance on the Level Two TIPs is used to update the Level One TIPs.


A bit of guidance on writing TIP’s:  write the TIP in a way that there is no question as to if the items have been complete.  Write the action item in a manner that describes the end result.  For example, “An detailed and executable plan for improvement has been completed and distributed” is much better than, “Write a plan for improvement.”


If you would like a template for TIPs creation please feel free to contact me.

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Operational Excellence

(“The Professional Provoker”) is the Founder and President of Empowered Performance, LLC a worldwide management education and consulting firm. Michael has extensive international experience working with companies of varied sizes and industries helping them implement strategies to attain World-Class levels of performance. Michael has developed expertise in “Enterprise Excellence”, Enterprise Resource Planning and Supply Chain Management (ERP/SCM), Lean (Toyota Production System), Team Building and Problem Solving, Six Sigma and Reengineering Business Processes. He is considered an expert in helping companies develop and implement Strategic Business Units and fast response customer service production units.

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