About VPMS™/ The Project Dashboard™ At TwHartmann Inc., my staff and I jointly implemented Operations Excellence in the form of “LEAN” which is also called the Toyota Production System. This system relied upon top and mid-level leadership using a visual project management system (VPMS) that improved communication between the project participants on a weekly basis. Using the VPMS, we developed and implemented new company standards that improved our key work processes. These standards led to further process improvements in our project delivery and reduction of defects. We focused on reliability as a quality metric while measurably reduced errors. Our communication abilities improved with our experience using the VPMS. This process can be easily adapted to work on projects within manufacturing facilities. TwHartmann Inc. was able to drive what we believe were industry best practices and improved standard practices. We measured simultaneous improvements in both reliability and cost reduction. Due to the continually improving process, our firm had measurable increased staff resource availability concurrently with cost reductions to our projects. Paradoxically, the staff utilization ratio decreased due to our following then improving our internally developed procedures and training. My success in my own firm will allow me to establish implementation teaming and teach work processes (i.e., “train the trainer” efforts). As the process standards emerged and were rolled out throughout the firm, my staff and I developed and adapted new training methodologies. I provided ongoing support to my staff and clients. We began to establish long- term measures and tracking such as defect management and reliability. As an example, we used Request for Information (RFI) received as one benchmark metric. We used internal and external performance benchmarking to drive further changes once we had created a stable process and significantly reduced the number of RFI’s. I have been studying “Six Sigma” reliability tools and the LEAN use of “Five Whys” root cause analysis as methods to ascertain ways to successfully create and monitor change and project management. In the 1930’s, the U.S. Training within Industry (TWI) program was the system used to formalize Facilitation of work efforts and improve oral and written communication. This system was adopted by Japan after the war and became known as LEAN or Toyota Production System. This LEAN system create a body of knowledge of operations and maintenance and led to Six Sigma and its reliability tools and root cause analysis. As a successful LEAN practitioner, I can “walk the walk and talk the talk” about process improvements.
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