What The Lean Assessment Does
This assessment helps to investigate, evaluate, and measure nine key areas of manufacturing.
The result is a deeper understanding of key issues, problem areas, and potential solutions.
Nine Key Areas
This format uses an Excel template to record information and score the results. It also
allows for weighting the nine key areas to reflect your own processes, products, and markets.
The assessment produces a "radar chart" that visually displays results.
How It Works
The Lean Manufacturing Assessment has a questionnaire that explores nine key areas. There are
3-6 questions for each area with multiple-choice answers. A scoring worksheet totals the score
for each section and provides an overall Lean Index.
This assessment allows weighting of the nine key areas. These areas are not equally important
in determining overall manufacturing performance. Moreover, the relative importance of the areas
varies with particular products, markets, processes, and other factors. The user must evaluate
the relative strategic impact of each area.
The weighting feature also helps establish priorities for
implementation. For example, in a highly automated
factory with integral processes, a low maintenance score would be a critical deficiency. But, for an
assembly operation using hand tools and manual methods, a low ranking on "Maintenance" would
have little impact.
The questions lead to metrics for your Lean Manufacturing journey. Managers traditionally
rely on accounting metrics. However, these are
inadequate for Lean Manufacturing. Accounting data is the end result of a long chain of
interrelated decisions, practices and events. And it usually has significant time delays. Managing a lean factory requires data that reflects what is
happening upstream in these chains and in real time.
The assessment can also be a focal point for strategic discussions. It can organize and
structure a strategic debate. It increases a company's ability to use facts and reduces the
necessity to rely on opinion and, thus, tends to civilize the discussion as well.
The company in this initial profile manufactured architectural
windows. The blue profile shows their actual initial score prior to lean efforts. The
red line indicates the strategic goal for each area. Gaps between actual and goal
indicate the most serious deficiencies and lead to priorities.
Profile After Nine Months
After nine months of intensive activity, all areas showed
considerable improvement. Priorities might now be shifted towards those areas with the
largest current gaps.