December 2004/January 2005 
Volume 03, Issue 8 
Integrated Defense Systems

'Tell us more about Lean'

BSS' second Lean Day scheduled for January 26


Boeing Satellite Systems employees at an onsite Lean ExpoAt Boeing Satellite Systems, one good day deserves another. To help accelerate its transformation to a Lean enterprise, BSS will hold its second Lean Day on Jan. 26, a mere four months after conducting its inaugural Lean Day.

The initial Lean Day featured a full slate of exhibits, training, and guest speakers. About 160 leaders and change agents attended presentations by experts from across Boeing who offered insight into how Lean is being implemented on the C-17 Globemaster III, 7E7 Dreamliner and other programs. Additional Lean-oriented tools and techniques used in functions and programs at BSS were displayed at an onsite Lean exposition. All were part of the BSS accelerated transformation to Lean operations.

"A lot of people have been saying, 'Tell us more about Lean.' And now, those of us who attended the special training sessions can explain it better," said Trung Nguyen of Data System Engineering.

BSS has also hosted special presentations recently from such experts as James Davis, director of Lean Enterprise at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, and Benny Leppert, Boeing Associate Technical Fellow and a member of the 7E7 Dreamliner Lean Design Integration team. Dave Ryan, BSS vice president and general manager, and other senior leaders maintain a steady flow of communications to employees through the enterprise's Lean Web site and other vehicles.

In addition, more than 1,500 employees have completed Lean Simulation training this year, honing their understanding of Lean principles and tools.

"Lean Sim makes you question why you do things a certain way," said Julie Perkins of BSS Customer Operations Support Center. "By the end, we had learned how to do things in a Lean way, and I realized I never would have thought of working that way."

BSS also regularly stages Accelerated Improvement Workshops, which emphasize fast-literally, the next day-enterprise-wide implementation of solutions. In addition, BSS holds workshops with intensive training in design for manufacture/assembly aimed to make products less costly and easier to assemble.

While speed is the name of the game in the two-day Accelerated Improvement Workshops, safety is not sacrificed. Quite the opposite.

"Accidents make you think differently about processes," IDS' Ken Shead told BSS participants in a recent Accelerated Improvement Workshop. "You need to think about what could happen, and build a process that removes those risks. We want these improvements to become a way of life."

"From instituting performance boards to creating pulse-line processes to honing our engineering practices, we're continuing to take decisive action to improve our business," Ryan said. "Lean Day is another tool designed to help us do that. It's up to us."


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