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Assessing the 20 Keys

The 20 Keys to World-Class Operations

Today’s global marketplace demands that companies become faster and more productive—on a consistent basis. To succeed and prosper in the long run, companies must drive the changes necessary to reach a level of health and maturity that make them invincible to attack by competitors.

Filling a Void

To improve competitiveness and prepare for the future, business leaders must base their decisions on more than traditional reports, which typically provide a snapshot in time, i.e. a view of the past that is not an effective indicator of future performance or how well a business is configured to meet future challenges. As such, a significant void exists in the information map available to business leaders. The Lean Audit fills this void by providing a simple and effective method to diagnose operational health and maturity in manufacturing and service companies—all in less than four hours!

For Whom This Book Is Written

The Lean Audit is written for senior executives, line managers, business analysts, scientists, and investors. The Lean Audit allows managers to determine the baseline before introducing changes; it helps engineers design better systems; it allows con- sultants to quickly identify improvement potentials; and it provides insights that owners need to make optimal investment decisions. For best results, readers should have some awareness of the concepts that comprise the 20 assessment parameters (“keys”), several years of managerial experience, and the determination to complete the audit and commit to an improvement plan.

What It Is and Is Not

The audit is generic enough to fit almost any manufacturing and service operation, yet specific enough to pinpoint areas of excellence and opportunities for improve- ment. It offers a clear view on how well a business operates relative to world-class benchmarks, and the visibility on areas that need an intervention. The Lean Audit is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to business transformation; rather, it is a practical user manual you can use to quickly uncover blind spots and value-cre- ation opportunities. In just four hours, the Lean Audit delivers insights that lead to actions—actions that in turn lead to an increase in health and maturity that will ultimately give the factory or office a real competitive advantage.

Why You Should Read This Book

If you currently rely on traditional reports to manage your business, your view is limited because that information is static, outdated and ineffective. You need more powerful tools for the extra insights required to stay competitive in the changing global marketplace. This book gives you a simple—but highly effective—method to diagnose operational health and maturity in your manufacturing and/or service organizations.

You will gain the following benefits:

  • a clear, documented reference point indicating where you are now,
  • an understanding of what “better” looks like, and
  • the fact base to develop effective improvement plans

How to Read This Book

This book is organized in five independent parts, so you don’t have to read it from cover to cover; instead, you can focus only on what you need, and when you need it. Chapter 1, the Concept, introduces assessment principles and processes. Chapter 2, the Keys, explains assessment categories. Chapter 3, the Audit, contains the questionnaires and scoring tables. Chapter 4, the Results, offers guidelines on how to analyze the data and turn scores into benefits. Chapter 5, the Certification, explains the process to measure and certify performance over time.