Lean & Agile Construction are focused on creating a climate of identifying and solving problems (permanently) as they arise on construction projects. Logging of issues, or pain points, arising from failures to adhere to short-term or daily plans are important data from which to base improvements. Lean & Agile Construction are experienced in utilising proven Lean Problem Solving methodologies to resolve repetitive issues. This removes 'fire-fighting' or reactionary management allowing supervision to focus on planning and executing the work.
DMAIC is an acronym for Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control.
The process is a data-driven improvement cycle used for improving, optimising and stabilising business processes and designs. The DMAIC improvement cycle is the core tool used to drive Six Sigma projects. However, DMAIC is not exclusive to Six Sigma and can be used as the framework for other improvement applications.
A3 problem solving is a structured problem-solving and continuous-improvement approach, first employed at Toyota and typically used by Lean manufacturing practitioners. It provides a simple and strict procedure that guides problem solving by workers.
The approach typically uses a single sheet of ISO A3 paper, which is the source of its name. While the A3 format can be used to support many objectives, one common use is to support an improvement initiative.
In this case, the A3 is divided into a few simple sections ...
- Background of the improvement goal - what are we trying to fix?
- Current conditions - what is happening today
- Goals - what specifically are we trying to accomplish with this change
- Analysis - what is the gap between where we are today and where we want to be
- Countermeasures or solutions - what are possible solutions and barriers to successful implementation
- Plan for improvement - what will our new process look like
- Follow-up - confirm results and sustain the change.
Once the concept of DMAIC and A3 are understood, they can be used to support everything from a simple process improvement to implementing strategic initiatives at company level. While this Lean tool is extremely simple, the results can be very powerful.