August 2015

Lean in Action!
By Kathy Wardynski, Manager of Purchasing and Process Improvement for Dining Services
In our 
June 2014 Lean in Action, we presented an overview of Michigan Tech’s Lean efforts. Today, we want to do a case study on improvements being done by our Residential Dining Services. This group provides meals for our on-campus students. One of the issues they deal with is a student employee workforce that constitutes 75% of the labor at any given time, has limited experience, frequent turnover, language barriers, and a start date the same as the first rush of student meals.
A kaizen team was formed to apply Lean thinking to tackle these problems. In the current situation, from the student point of view, new employees are either not given good direction or receive conflicting directions. They are not always sure what they are supposed to do next. Also, the job requires the ability to perform several different kinds of tasks, and there’s no record of who’s been trained for what. Finally, the quality of the training is very trainer dependent.
The team used an affinity diagram to define what an ideal training program would look like. They realized there were several categories of training that needed to be addressed—job specific, location specific, university required, and general industry knowledge like food safety, kitchen safety, and customer service. Then they used a fishbone diagram to map out the resources they would need to implement their plan. An unexpected outcome from their diagramming is the need to train the trainers to address the quality issues identified. Trainers need the tools and knowledge to be effective, and there needs to be a plan to reinforce the knowledge over time.
The team used
multi-voting to prioritize the next steps. This year they will focus on developing a standard orientation process for every new employee, creating a system and standard that will provide every student employee with food handler training, which is far beyond the state requirement. The process will include the development of a training passport to keep track of individual training. The team is using a work project kanban to manage their capacity for problem solving. The kanban shows the status of their current projects. When one is complete, the team will do a PDCA cycle on the training plan, and the next project will be added. They anticipate full deployment of the ideas from the affinity diagram will take three to four years. 
Check out our Breakout Sessions for the Annual Conference!

Click here to read more about each session.

Breakout Session #1
Aug 12 10:30-12:30
  1. Managing for Daily Improvement (MDI)  
  2. Profound Knowledge for Lean Leaders
  3. A3 Thinking For All Seasons
  4. Mind The Gap
  5. What Have You Done For Me Lately
Breakout Session #2
Aug 12 1:30-3:30
  1. Kata In The Classroom 
  2. From The Perspective of the Worker-Making Things Run Well
  3. Lean Assessment-8th Waste & Proper Deployment of Lean Principles
  4. Revolutionary Change In Healthcare Delivery
Breakout Session #3
Aug 13 10:15-12:15
  1. Harnessing the Power of People
  2. Growing As A Lean Leader
  3. Kanban for All-There Is Not Just One Way to do a Kanban 
  4. Jane & Jack-The Story of Transformational Leadership
  5. Tune Up Your Process Mapping Skills-Working in a Piano Factory
Breakout Session #4
Aug 13 2:15-4:15
  1. Speak So They Listen:  Transforming Your Communication To Get The Results You Want
  2. DTE Energy CI Assessment Process
  3. Leadership Lessons from the Monastery
  4. Transforming the Model of Care
  5. Rebuilding Lives With Lean-Lean In A Thrift Store Clothing Value Stream

Optional Workshops on Friday
Aug 14 8:15-12:15    
  1. Red Bead-Manley & Browne                
  2. Extraordinary Leadership-Sergent


We are very deeply sorry to hear that Tom Smith (middle in the photo) has passed away. He was a great MLC contributor and will be dearly missed.

Posted by Michigan Lean Consortium on Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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