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Lean Tools, Training, and Systems

How to Launch a

Process Improvement Team

Launch Any Type of Team

You can use this same process

(with minor variations)

to launch ANY type of process improvement team

that might be needed along the way on your Lean Journey:

A Kaizen Event team, Value Stream Mapping Event team, Six Sigma project team, 8D problem investigation team.

A3 problem solving team, Hoshin Strategic Policy Deployment team ...

You can even use this same process to launch your Continuous Improvement Steering Committee and Continuous Improvement Leadership Team

(which will later be responsible for launching all other teams)

Learn more in your 'Continuous Improvement Leadership Roles' template.


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How to Launch

any type of Process Improvement Team

Create and Socialize the Team Charter

Who: Continuous Improvement Leadership Team

Complete first draft of the Team Charter

Use your preferred Systems2win Team Charter template to define:

Team Charter template

Define your Team roles

You own several Systems2win templates to define Team Roles for different types of teams:

Team Roles Template

Continuous Improvement Leadership Roles template

It is not uncommon to use these templates without any modification, while other customers use them as a terrific starting point to use familiar Microsoft Word to easily personalize.

Choose the best people — and free up their time

Most important roles:

Executive Sponsor Change Agent, Team Leader, and Facilitator

Dust off (or revise) your standard team guidelines

Your Systems2win templates provide an easy starting point for your Continuous Improvement Leadership Team to personalize your company's usual standard policies for:

Your team can usually simply use those standard pre-defined policies.

If anything is different from your company's usual policies, then personalize your own version to clarify what's different for this team.

Job Security Promise
Team Empowerment Boundaries template
Ground Rules template

Plan logistics for your Event

Use your Systems2win event preparation checklists to ensure that you've thought of everything, so that you don't embarrass yourself in front of your entire team and your senior executives.

Potential planning templates include (but are not limited to):

Event Planning Checklist template

Follow the steps on the
'Communication' sheet of your
Event Planning Checklist

Arrange to visit the gemba

Leader and/or facilitator pre-visit the gemba to ensure that everything is ready.

Enough time is allowed for the real gemba visit.

Ensure that the team won’t encounter security clearance surprises.

Ensure there is sufficient safety equipment available for the entire team.

The gemba visit is scheduled for a time when the workers can be interrupted from their usual responsibilities.

Prepare the people in the gemba to feel safe disclosing honest transparent communication with senior managers that they don’t interact with often.


Perhaps collect some preliminary data

Most data is collected by the team, but it is sometimes helpful to collect some hard-to-get data ahead of time, such as demand volume and variability.

Socialize the Team Charter to get political support

Don’t just “communicate” it in an easily-overlooked email.

Use your Change Management template to identify the stakeholders that might be most affected by potential changes to this process, and then to come up with appropriate ways to get their involvement and support.

Change Management template

Train & Motivate the Team

Who: Facilitator (who might be an outside consultant or a member of your Continuous Improvement Leadership Team)

Prepare the Documenter

If your team's Documenter is not yet skilled using Microsoft Excel, then he or she should complete the (free) New User Training, and the (free) self-paced online Excel training.

At least a week before the Kickoff Meeting, ensure that the team's Documenter has been trained and mentored to be competent with the tools that are expectee to be used.

See optional Systems2win Training and Coaching services

Start the Kickoff Meeting with an inspirational talk

The Executive Sponsor Change Agent starts the Kickoff meeting with an inspirational message about:

Why this team's mission is important

Perhaps a mix of both compelling vision and reaction to competitive threat.

An honest crisis can provide powerful motivational leverage, but don’t jeopardize your people's trust by manufacturing an invented crisis

How this project will benefit the daily work of THESE team members

e.g. Free up time for offense. Less wasted time. Less stress. Work in a state of flow...

How your Executive Sponsor has unwavering confidence that this team will successfully accomplish its important mission.

Review the team mission and plan

The Team Leader and/or Facilitator quickly (but thoroughly) reviews the following:

Team Charter, Agenda, Job Security Assurance, Team Empowerment boundaries, Team Roles, Ground Rules for Working Together, logistics...

If you did a good job of socializing the charter, there should be no surprises, and little discussion

Perhaps do a quick ice breaker exercise if some members of this team have not worked together before

Kaizen Agenda

Training for lean principles, systems, and tools

The Facilitator (and/or others) will then provide brief training for any concepts, tools, or methods that are anticipated to be most relevant to the mission of this team.

Your Training Topics might include...

Why re-invent?

Why re-invent?

Your Systems2win templates make it so much easier to develop consistent, standardized training for lean, kaizen, and process improvement.

Also see tools and training for how follow up and Measure Results to ensure that your team accomplishes their mission





Lean templates

Lean tools

Standardized tools
for standardizing your
standard work


Many of the templates on this page come with the free trials

Download yours now







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Training and Coaching

Consider Training and Coaching to support your teams to succeed


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Training to get you started.
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