Almost everyone learns to perform large tasks in batch mode. As individuals, we learn to be efficient by performing and completing one step of a “process” at a time before advancing to the next step. As team members, we tend to bring this batch-mode bias to the application of all work, and that is a big problem for lean implementation.
The Learning to See the Waste Presentation (LTSTW), which is included with each Deluxe Car Kit, discusses the concept of waste batch-mode flow creates when teams of people are performing tasks. A tool for finding waste is included with this presentation. Called The 10-Second Test, this handy method teaches the team to observe and see where possible waste may be occurring within any process oriented office or workplace, and works equally well in service operations and production shops.
The two-step Learning to See the Waste Car Factory Simulation is intended to focus on the batch-mode bias problem. The hands-on simulation starts with a batch-mode operation in the toy car factory. As the factory produces cars, the tools we learned in the presentation are applied and we begin to see where waste is occurring in the flow. The factory is then redesigned for lean flow. The participants can see first-hand the differences in efficiency and begin to understand how waste affects flow.
Included with the simulation is the LTSTW Financial Chart which teaches participants to calculate earned value by the formula EVA=Sales-COGS-Capital Charges. This financial metric adds emphasis to the need to eliminate waste in the flow process.