Digital Model Factory

Process Approach and Standardization | Digital Model Factory Roadmap #2

This roadmap will reinforce an organization or a individual willing to advance in the field of continuous improvement, to attain lean culture in the business, enabling the organization to get better results each time by step by step implemention.

The roadmap is a massive PCDA cycle; if applied correctly, it is impossible to get failing results.

This roadmap is the advanced version of the experiential training system that we first developed as a roadmap/curriculum for Model Factories in 2018. Based on this system, we have trained the teams of Model Factories that have never met with Lean or Digital transformation before, we have developed their competencies, and they now support the industrial organizations in their regions as experts and contribute to the country’s economy.

This week content includes the second module in Lean and Digital roadmap; Process Approach and Standardization.

Process Approach and Standardization

In most of the organizations, processes are not specifically designed to fulfill a specific purpose. Organizational elements that come together out of necessity; advance the process to fulfill the demand of the management, and then this process becomes the flow itself. However, this is not a proper design. This is the self-development of events and processes, and it is never optimal. Intentionally, a process designed to work well produces worse results in both quality, quantity, and time in terms of the outputs. However, the process flow is the beginning of everything in the operation and is the main determinant of all performance.

All systems in enterprises such as production planning, production, purchasing contain more than one process flow. Most important element keeps operation going as planned business/process flows. When processes are not well designed, employees do not know the key elements in the processes of beginning to its end. They do not know what inputs to take, what activities to do, and what output to produce. Therefore reports and feedbacks are flawed. When a problem arises, they search and identify the problem in processes and process flows, not in individuals. Process Approach allows people to know the goals and advance their workflow in line with these goals, to measure themselves, and to allow management to evaluate the results.

Each process step in these process flows is very important as it describes what employees should do step by step. These process flows are not just for the production area, of course, they are just as important and even more important for non-productive processes. Since productive processes are easier to follow quantitatively, the deficiencies in the process flows can be eliminated to some extent with the Standard Operation Procedure, but the initial phase of Standardization is the stabilization of the processes, and this is accomplished with the work / process flows.

Process flows enables to prevent waiting between work steps in non-productive processes. In principle, the work steps and information flow in a process flow are not much different from the material flow in production area. Again, there may be waits between stations, work may be prolonged with unnecessary actions, and intermediate stocks can be created by extra processes. In short, we can observe all of the 8 wastes to observe and explicitly to become lean in the workshop, by those non-productive processes. For this reason, process flows are necessary for all processes of the entire enterprise beyond the production, and they must be specifically designed to meet the needs.

After designing the process flow with lean principles and thus stabilizing it, it is now possible to standardize each process step in this process flow. This is ensured with Standard Operating Procedures. Standardization is the work that needs to be done after discovering and designing the best practice for the processes. Thus, the best can be standardized, trained, applied and taken as a basis for every improvement. The essence of every improvement is to standardize it by generating a hypothesis on an existing standard and achieving a better situation. If the current situation is not standard, then the hypothesis is based on assumptions and the results will naturally have variation within itself. For this not to happen, the standard business must be applicable and applied to everyone. Standardization does not represent the status quo by the means, rather, it drives change. The standard operating procedures prepared in many businesses remain the same over the years. This is the status quo approach. However, standards are a step to reach better, they should be regarded as such. This also applies to process flows. As a result, every document produced in the enterprise is not to fixate the enterprise to that point, if this is the case, the improvement will be hindered.

Process Approach / Standardization, the first module of our Digital Model Factory roadmap allows organizations to properly design process flows, standardize the process steps, and thus establishing a solid ground for all improvements.

– Dr. Doğan Hasan

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