How to develop an Improvement Masterplan

Change without a Plan is a risky start!

Making a Masterplan


Every improvement program has to be based on a thorough analysis of a given situation and clear goals. I use the following approach in developing an effective Masterplan. In this approach a number of steps are to be made:

Step 1: Analysis of the cost structure

TPM is improving productivity and, by result, reducing costs. In order to maximise the ‘benefit / effort rate’, a global analysis of the operational cost structure is performed as a first step.

The result of this step should be a top 3 of operational problems that should be attacked first.

Step 2: Definition of goals

After developing a good insight in the operational cost structure, the 2nd step implies defining goals and targets. Usually these goals and targets can be split into two categories:

  1. Quantitative goals concerning for example set up time, breakdowns, speed losses, defects, etc. For every goal a performance indicator is defined.
  2. Qualitative goals concerning the organization. For example ownership, problem solving, multiskilling, etc.

Step 3: Development of a strategy

In the third step the necessary tools are collected, depending on the type of problems to be attacked. For example:

Goal Tool
Set up time reduction Single Minute Exchange of Die (SMED)
Standardisation of work processes 5S
Improving focus on operational losses Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
Improving production processes Total Productive Manufacturing (TPM)
Problem solving Small Group Activity (SGA)
Operational training One point lessons

Step 4: Meeting Boundary Conditions

After filling up the toolbox, the conditions to apply these tools effectively are to be met, for example organization, time, money, training etc. It is very important in this step to involve shop floor management. There are two main reasons for doing so:

  1.  to create commitment
  2. shop floor management can make the best assessment of conditions that are to be met.

Step 5: Developing a Masterplan

Again together with shop floor management a pragmatic plan is developed in which a logical sequence of steps is defined. For every step there is a check (mile stone). An important ‘rule’ in this Masterplan that no new step is started until the previous milestone has been reached.