Make Your Team a Lean Mean Production Machine

Today’s engineering and manufacturing companies want to maintain consistent and high-level business operations despite unforeseen disruptions. Key challenges are typically related to safety, skill gaps in the workforce, lack of automation, and disconnected company communication.

Technology itself is not the entire answer.

While technology is an enabling tool for development and production teams, which are the lifeblood of sustainable operations, finding other creative and flexible ways to collaborate and solve problems is critical to success.

Regular conference calls do not adequately provide the formal structure required for productive discussion and problem-solving. Plus, they don’t help reinforce behaviors related to Lean principles and improvement. And, most employees are dealing with overwhelming amounts of data and complexity, which can kill productivity.

How can teams perform at their very best when members are physically and psychologically disconnected?

Built-in Lean Thinking

Delmia’s Lean Team Player on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform empowers your team to find new ways to innovate by bringing people together in a structure that guides discovery, analysis, and problem-solving.

Teams need to engage, regardless of location, in interactive ways where technology guides and captures the discussion instead of merely enabling it.

It is important to make information accessible to key stakeholders (who may not be engineers or designers) so everyone can visualize what is happening to solve problems and find new ways to innovate. Lean Team Player makes Lean principles a natural outcome of team engagement so improvement becomes second nature instead of a forced or stilted part of the process.

Impromptu Meetings

Let’s face it: Many meetings happen spontaneously in the lunchroom, hallway, or other nontraditional spaces, regardless of the shift. Team members address current issues, such as What is going on right now? What problems surfaced during the previous shift? What about production status? in these “pop-up” meetings.

These are often (and literally) stand-up meetings. Team members are quick and to the point, tackling issues that need to be solved immediately. Lean Team Player enables the same spontaneity to quickly build a meeting agenda, highlight issues and challenges, and capture actions and assignments so nothing falls through the cracks.

Lean Team Player provides the simplest of meeting tools: a digital whiteboard, marker, and sticky notes. The objective is to provide an environment to facilitate natural interactions and allow everyone to engage productively. Work-availability metrics, real-time, shop-floor views, and more enable accurate decision-making.

When everyone can see what’s going on in the moment, the team has more interpersonal interactions from a more accurate and shared understanding.

Long-range project plans and milestones are not lost: Lean Team Player makes adhering to or beating milestones easier. Everything you share in a Lean Team Player meeting, whether it is a video, 3D model, Excel file, or other content, can be marked up and added to task lists.

Keep Things Moving Forward

Effective problem solving is a learned behavior. Lean Team Player provides the structure and guidance to provide that learning opportunity to every team interaction. In fact, there isn’t any aspect of business that won’t benefit from teams engaging more effectively with Lean principles.

Quickly diagnose problems every time you encounter challenges. Using Lean Team Player, your team can interactively brainstorm possible symptoms and issues to narrow down potential root causes. Then, Lean Team Player enables team members to seamlessly jump into rich 3D content to visualize the situation and more rapidly come to a conclusion and resolve the issue quickly.

According to surveys, 85 percent of team members feel more engaged in meetings, and 92 percent of team members find that Lean Team Player has a positive impact on their daily tasks. And Lean Team Player can be leveraged in virtually any industry.

To learn more about Lean Team Player, contact your local reseller.


Michael Buchli
Michael Buchli has 20 years of design and manufacturing experience throughout the Midwest ranging from Aerospace to recycling systems. A number of those years were spent learning and understanding workflows and processes to improve efficiency and productivity. From running CNC equipment to welding and painting Michael has been hands-on in all aspects of bringing products to market. Michael is also certified in many areas of mfg and a CSWP. He has also written the CAMWorks Handbook.