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
Training to get you started.
Tools you won't outgrow.
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.
How to Launch any type of
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:
- Project Scope and Boundaries
- Why this needs to be improved
- Objectives, Measures, and Targets
- Team members
- Team Roles
- Anything else relevant to the mission of this team
Define your Team roles
You own several Systems2win templates to define
Team Roles for different types of teams:
- Continuous Improvement Team Leadership Roles
Value Stream Team Roles
- Kaizen Event Team Roles
- Six Sigma Team Roles
- Training Team Roles
- and even 2 generic templates to define Team Roles for ANY type of team
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
Continuous Improvement Leadership Team
to personalize your company's usual standard policies for:
- Job Assurance
- Team Empowerment Boundaries
- Ground Rules for Working Together
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.
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):
Follow the steps on the
'Communication' sheet of your
Event Planning Checklist
- Event Planning Checklist
- Event Agenda
- 8D Problem Solving checklist
- Gantt Chart, Milestone Chart, Bowling Chart
- and/or checklists that you personalize
using your generic Checklist template
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.
Train & Motivate the Team
Who: Facilitator (who might be an outside consultant or a member of your Continuous Improvement Leadership Team)
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
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.
Lean Kaizen Training
PowerPoint is designed
to easily cannibalize
slides to include in
your own personalized
Your Training Topics might include...
- Lean Ideals, Principles, and Objectives
- How this team's mission contributes to your broader
- Lean Flow
- Value Stream Mapping
- How to see types of waste
- Problem-solving tools and methods
- Introduction to those Lean Management Systems
that your leaders have selected to manage this team
- Lean tools and methods for 5S, standard work, visual work, quality improvement,
and any other tools that are likely to be of most value for THIS team's mission
Also see tools and training for how follow up
and Measure Results to ensure that your team accomplishes their mission