Implementing Lean – As fast as a Pit Crew?

At the recent AME Conference, Performance Instruction and Training offered sessions that allowed you to experience their unique style of learning. The concepts PIP teaches motor-sports pit crews to conduct sub 13-second pit-stops relate to your business and drive home the concepts of lean, Six Sigma, and continuous improvement. You were able to join the session and try your luck. This video depicts this pit crews first attempt. They received training between each session, and at the end they were rewarded with a sub 18-second performance.

I was first impressed by the concept of a pit crew’s performance by Jim Lewis, the author of the Story of a Lean Journey. He used this analogy several times discussing quick changeover, value stream mapping and 5S. The basic point of the exercise was that at best, we would take a minimum of 20 minutes to change a tire at home. A NASCAR team and as you saw in the video something less than a NASCAR team could do it in less than 20 seconds. Proper training, the right resources, tools and a willingness to improve is what it will take to achieve some remarkable differences within your organization.

Jim’s book was a fictitious story of Allison Manufacturing Services Lean Journey as seen through the eyes of their Lean consultant. Jim did an excellent job of depicting the cultural change that took place within the company and how it was accomplished. It was such a pleasant read, that I completed it in one night that was extended into the early morning hours. The next day, I continued reviewing the book to understand the charts and mapping process he uses in the book. If you are considering a Lean Journey, this book may be an excellent starting point. After reading this, consider if your company is working at the 20 minute level(you are out of business if you are), or if you are taking 35 seconds? Can you get it down to 18 or 16 or maybe, 13 seconds?

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