The aim of the Pilot Activity is to demonstrate the benefits of a particular technique to the team and to have an area of the business which can be used as a showcase to train others in how to apply the principles. The Pilot Area should be given absolute focus from the Management Team and the Site Champion, as there are usually a number of barriers which emerge and need removal quickly. This also shows to the team that the Management team are fully committed to the Lean process.
The Pilot area would usually launch each of the Pillars in sequence, after having first mastering the previous one, so using our "Route to Lean" model would launch as follows: -
Month 1. Performance Management - month 2 roll out to area 2 and so on
Month 2. 5S Workplace Organisation - month 3 area 3
Month 3. Standardised Work
Month 4. Quick Changeover etc.
After the Pilot has been implemented a "What Went Well" / "Did Not Go Well" is carried out to review the pilot process, lessons learnt are discussed and then applied to the delivery model. This is so when rolling out to the next area problems can be avoided and the process speeded up.
Up front we identify key personnel who will facilitate the process and support the local management team as we drive the improvement programme forward. There is the Site Champion, usually a senior manager who is responsible for the overall deployment plan, supported by a team of 5 or 6 Pillar Champions.
The Pillar Champion is trained in their specialism before launching their pilot alongside the team leader of the area, they both receive intensive coaching on the job as we implement the pilot together.This Champion structure builds competence from the outset and allows you take ownership of the programme early on, and provides for a smoother transition when we exit the business.