This column introduces Lean perspectives and tools and provides a path for security practitioners to follow in applying lean principles.
Lean is a business strategy to achieve “World Class” status across the entire organization! The key to successful implementation is in the details. Lean thinking involves a continuous improvement approach for eliminating waste throughout the entire operation, breaking the status quo by making immediate changes, involving stakeholders in all improvements and a long series of small improvements based on conventional wisdom.
Lean is not a replacement or substitute for experienced employees, the latest cookie-cutter approach, a way to justify high-tech or costly improvements, or something you do once and then you are done.
One of the most powerful tools of lean is value stream mapping. Typically in applying lean, a map or flow diagram is drawn (usually by hand) to capture the steps and actions in a business or manufacturing process. The critical starting point for lean thinking is value. The key value focus is value from the perspective of the customer. Thus, business or manufacturing processes are called value streams, to facilitate the focus on value. Most lean practitioners will say that once they began thinking of each process as a value stream, they could not revert back to thinking of them simply as steps or actions. The value orientation becomes an ingrained part of their thinking, which is one of the lasting benefits of applying lean.
Security Value Stream Mapping Exercise Continued
Last month’s column dealt with security operations from a process-oriented perspective. The idea was for the core team to think about as many processes they could and list them on a process capture form. The next step was to categorize each process as critical or non-critical.
In order to improve, there must be a complete understanding and documentation of what you do, why you do it, and how it gets done. Process value stream mapping provides a simple visual approach by creating a clear picture of the current process flow. It also identifies lean tools and techniques that can improve the flow and simultaneously eliminate waste; thus incorporating these ideas in a new picture of how the process “should” flow and creating an action plan that makes the new picture a reality for that process.
Lets now walk through some steps for creating a current state map. The core team should perform this exercise together. Begin by selecting one of your critical processes. Define the start and end points of the process. List all the steps of the process (post-it notes work well here). Focus on collecting data vs. making it look pretty. Add data for each step in the process. This data could include the following: The time it takes to get from one end of the campus to the other; how many electronic systems (video, access control or intercom) an operator touches or interacts with to resolve an event; the steps and/or actions necessary to notify management of critical situations, and others.
There are many benefits for core team members who perform this exercise. Here are some of them:
• Transfers knowledge and insights from more experienced personnel;
• Shares knowledge between shifts and functions;
• Can reveal security value not immediately apparent to security personnel;
• Expands security personnel awareness of the value of their jobs;
• Increases sensitivity of security personnel to security stakeholders’ concerns;
• Provides a check on the effectiveness and scope of security personnel training; and
• Helps to reinforce the common purpose and build camaraderie.
To remain competitive and achieve “World Class” status, a business must deliver their products and services on time, defect free and flow their processes to eliminate waste. Applying Lean principles helps to do just that.
For the security function to be effective, we must adopt the same mentality. Security adds tremendous value when its services align with the organization’s goals and objectives. Applying lean principles to security operations is just good business!
Next month’s column will provide an example of mapping a critical process. If you would like to contribute your insights or suggestions, please email them to me at Derrick_Wright@Baxter.Com.
Derrick Wright, CPP, is the security manager for Baxter Healthcare, Cherry Hill, N.J. With more than 19 years of progressively higher management experience in a highly regulated pharmaceutical manufacturing environment, he has built a converged security program that focuses on top-of-mind business issues as well as technology interoperability to support improved business processes. Derrick is a member of the Security Executive Council and the Convergence Council of the Open Security Exchange (OSE), where he provides insight and direction for working group activities.