Lean manufacturing project progress tracking (PPT) requires implementing the five laws of lean in the manufacturing environment. The laws of lean are most commonly credited to Michael L. George, author of several books on lean manufacturing and lean Six Sigma, originally developed by Motorola in the early 1980s. A lean manufacturing PPT maps which process steps depend on each other and how long the manufacturing process takes.
Lean Manufacturing Overview
There are five laws of lean manufacturing. The law of the market states that the customer is the first priority. Profitability comes from meeting and exceeding customer requirements in conjunction with keeping the manufacturing or service organization fast and efficient. The law of flexibility states that the more flexible the process, the more efficient and profitable it can be. The law of focus is an application of Pareto’s law to lean manufacturing. By focusing effort, time, energy and money on improving that critical 20 percent of the process that causes 80 percent of all defects, delays, wasted time and effort, an organization most efficiently improves the process, resulting in improved product quality and efficiency. The law of velocity states that the velocity of a process is inversely proportional to the amount of work in process. This work in process, in turn, creates an even slower process as a backlog that can grow into a log jam over time. Finally, the law of complexity states that complexity adds non-value. Reducing complexity reduces the number of factors that can go wrong, which typically improves quality.
Lean Manufacturing PPT
The primary methods of implementing lean manufacturing PPT are by using Gantt Charts, PERT charts and Design Structure Matrix (DSM) diagrams. Gantt Charts are the easiest method since they can be done using many tools, including Microsoft Project. PERT charts are best used when the project has a critical path that must be maintained despite multiple project paths to be managed. Design Structure Matrix diagrams are the best means of lean manufacturing PPT for gathering projects. Design Structure Matrix diagrams are also a good means of determining remaining process dependencies as lean methodology makes the process less complex as the project progresses.
The simplest method of lean manufacturing PPT is by using a Gantt chart. Inchstone and milestone markers can be used to note progress and major accomplishments towards lean manufacturing project goals. A Gantt chart shows the status of each bar and is easily filled out by hand, either on a bulletin board or electronically.
PERT charts are best used when managing multiple activities that all feed into a critical path. PERT charts are also helpful when calculating the risk to the critical path when the time to complete each activity may vary. These calculations can be entered into PERT software by noting the probability of each possible completion time for the network activity between milestones.
Design Structure Matrix (DSM) Diagrams
DSM diagrams list all activities required to complete a project. This type of diagram allows a complex project with many dependencies to be put on one chart that shows which factors depend on the others. The Design Structure Matrix also shows how dependencies change as factors that cause complexity are eliminated.