Putting It All Together
with Action Plans
Everything we have done in this book has been to support our Model Vision,
but to this point, it has been somewhat hypothetical. If you intend to actually
put this to use, speciﬁc actions are needed. The easiest way to summarize
everything covered by the preceding chapters is to provide action plans for
each of the key positions. In other words, if you are in one of these roles,
here is what you should actually be doing each day to reduce variability and
improve the system. The action plans will be in the form of spreadsheets.
We are going to assume at this point that the plant is equipped with a
computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), a computerized
statistical process control (SPC) system, and a local-area network (LAN) with
plenty of terminals.
For convenience, here is a relisting of our Model Vision:
1. Workplace is clean, well lit, properly ventilated, and free of safety hazards.
2. Machines are in tip-top mechanical condition and capable of running
without breakdown from one maintenance downtime to the next.
3. The process is monitored and controlled with modern instrumentation.
4. Only high-quality raw materials are used.
5. The workforce is trained to be highly skilled professionals.
6. Operators monitor product characteristics using standardized methods
and adjust settings using SPC techniques.
142 ◾ Removing the Barriers to Efﬁcient Manufacturing
7. Product quality is measured and reported using appropriate statisti-
8. Each day, cross-functional teams analyze the process and product data
and look for improvement opportunities.
9. Production schedules are easily maintained because surprise qual-
ity defects are nonexistent, and each operation is equipped to make
10. Employees have the freedom from fear to try to make things better.
Action Plans by Position
We start with the plant manager and work our way down in order of
responsibility. As shown in Table13.1, the plant manager is responsible for
establishing expectations and maintaining them by monitoring the activities
and results. He or she does this by walking around and making observa-
tions, providing funding for plant initiatives, reviewing reports, and holding
periodic formal review meetings with the team.
He or she makes formal housekeeping inspections that cover the entire
facility at least quarterly and performs a minimum of one announced
inspection and at least one informal STOP
observation per month, which
is the standard for every member of supervision. Formal monthly and quar-
terly reviews of the listed topics ensure that the team does not let any of the
vision elements fall by the wayside while staying focused on the top issues.
Like all members of supervision, the plant manager has a LAN termi-
nal in his or her ofﬁce, which is scanned daily to keep informed on plant
issues. In addition, there is a continuously updated plant summary report
that shows all of the vital statistics on quality, productivity, and maintenance
on one screen with hyperlinks to running trend charts. A sample report is
shown in Table13.2.
The plant manager works at driving out fear by being cordial to all
employees and never goes out on the plant ﬂoor without smiling and greet-
ing everyone he or she meets. Some plant managers pride themselves on
being able to memorize the names of hundreds of employees. If you are
able to do that, it is a nice touch. In any case, there is no excuse for not
knowing the names of everyone in smaller plants. The plant manager is
everyone’s advocate and is never too busy to meet with an employee to try