With over 70% of Lean initiatives failing across the United States and the world over, is Lean dying? Is the Factory Operating System (fOS) only helping to kill Lean off? Both Lean and the fOS are designed to serve the same purpose: the systematic elimination of waste. However, there are some very distinct differences between Lean as we have come to understand it and the fOS.
Those differences include:
Lean is tools and theory-focused, which often causes conflict and debate
The fOS is singularly focused on getting better, which everyone agrees is, well… better
Lean is pushed onto the organization from the top down
The fOS is pulled into the organization from the shop-floor up
Lean is levered on fear and crisis
The fOS is levered on desire and success as people are recognized for achieving increasingly greater efficiency
Lean requires a high level of expertise to educate / coach / facilitate the effective use of prescriptive tools
The fOS encourages and rewards ingenuity from all levels in the organization – sort of like crowd-sourcing for improvement methods and ideas
Lean takes years to implement effectively
The fOS is implemented virtually instantly
Lean concentrates on waste and process failures
The fOS concentrates on outstanding performance
Lean improvements can be difficult to quantify and sustain
The fOS visualizes performance levels so that the impact of process changes are easily quantifiable and addressable
…and many more.
Lean manufacturing is one the most prominent Continuous Improvement programs of the past century. Despite the many flaws in the way companies attempt to implement and approach Lean, it’s principle of a never-ending pursuit of perfection is the true value to be extracted from the rubble of failed initiatives. The fOS, especially in combination with the Percent Perfect Methodology®, beautifully extracts this precious element and makes it readily available to all manufacturers in it’s purest form. This positions the fOS as a powerful tool that results in companies becoming more Lean without all the bloodshed involved in implementing an organizational transformation to the scale of a traditional Lean implementation. In other words, the fOS does kill the “old Lean”, and gives life to the “new Lean” that approaches Continuous Improvement more like professional sports than military boot camp. Except in this sport, the field is the factory, the opponent is inefficiency, the season never ends, and there are winners everyday.
The fOS is a system designed to create a culture of performance improvement leveraged around OEE, which is regarded as the global benchmark for managing manufacturing productivity.
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