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Kaizen Events and the Ideas Generator “TRIZ” - The way to generate creativity on the Kaizen Teams.

On kaizen Events the Teams must come up with solutions for the problems exposed on VSM, after set the targets and scope of the loop you want to fix; this must happen within a period of time of 5 days; obviously there are days where the Team will be confused & frustrated; because is very difficult to find the right solution is short time and with very low money or zero if is possible; it’s a real challenge for them.
This is the way that I was trained by my Japanese Senseis and works very well if you are working with companies that have high level of Maturity on this types of Kaizen events; they knows the process already; makes the effort from Monday to Thursday and by Friday the sense on success will compensate all the efforts done, hours of frustration and sleepless to find the solution to their problems, this is how the Kaizen events works.
"You are a fool if you do just as I say. You are a greater fool if you don't do as I say.
You should think for yourself and come up with better ideas than mine."
“Wits Don’t Work Until You Feel the Squeeze”
As consultant I teaches the Team; Tools and Techniques, to make the changes and improvements happen such as Cell Design, SMED, Standard Work, Hanedashi , Jidoka etc. all the Lean Tools and Techniques that you already know.
And as consultant; if you want do your job well; you can’t give the solutions to the Team; just guide them to find the right solution by themself instead
However, I had to recognized that I could do more for the Team in order to find the right solution in a proper and ways, more structured and faster, and then I recall from my past experience; when I was Design Engineer the Training called TRIZ (Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch - Theory of inventive problem solving - Started with Altshuller’s interest in invention and work in Soviet Navy patent office) , TRIZ was invented to creates improvement on new designs or improve the current ones , (the process are included as well) TRIZ has an structure very easy ; you have just to follow those principles and you will came up with new solutions. (As everything the experience is very important).
Therefore I started teaches TRIZ (summarized obviously) to the teams to identified the right pad of solution during the Kaizen Events.
The solution does not needs to win the Nobel Prize; just to solve the problem on the faster an less expensive but effective way.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Genrich S. Altshuller, the Father of TRIZ ; he categorized the solutions into five levels.
  • Level one. Routine design problems solved by methods well known within the specialty. No invention needed. About 32% of the solutions fell into this level.
  • Level two. Minor improvements to an existing system, by methods known within the industry. Usually with some compromise. About 45% of the solutions fell into this level.
  • Level three. Fundamental improvement to an existing system, by methods known outside the industry. Contradictions resolved. About 18% of the solutions fell into this category.
  • Level four. A new generation that uses a new principle to perform the primary functions of the system. Solution found more in science than in technology. About 4% of the solutions fell into this category.
  • Level five. A rare scientific discovery or pioneering invention of essentially a new system. About 1% of the solutions fell into this category.

There are also 40 Inventive Principles.

Here just one example; of how to reduce the cycle time, micro movements and increase the productivity, the rules where simple; don’t buy anything or call external supplier for this; use Try-Storming, the Moonshine tool room and follow the method TRIZ.

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As final comment; the Consultant must find the way to help the Teams, and maybe this means look out of the box of Lean Manufacturing tools as well.

I hope this help you in your next Project.

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