Making an Operational Diagnosis in a Manufacturing Environment

The GCC team frequently conducts internal “Lunch & Learn” trainings. The counselors of our team are, in turn, in charge of setting up a training to present in front of their peers. This week, our counselor, Amine Baffoun, presents us the tools to use to carry out an operational diagnosis in a manufacturing environment. 

An operational diagnosis is performed by a team of multidisciplinary experts who analyze all the functions in order to have an illustration of the current situation and to scrutinize the critical functions. 

The goal is to quantify the potential for improvement and set achievable goals that will translate into an improvement plan. 

During this training, two operational diagnostic tools were presented: 


It is an effective tool for identifying wastes and constraints. Cartography is not the purpose of a project, it is part of the puzzle. 

Process and Value Chain Mapping are two of the most effective measurement tools in our Lean Six Sigma Toolkit. 

Mapping of a process (image) 

Instant observations 

The purpose of the instant observations is to observe the execution of the operations in order to paint an overall statistical portrait of the level of added value and non-added value of the work performed. 

The principle is to establish a circuit, in the factory, to see all the workstations and thus perform the circuit at random hours established beforehand. The activity done by the employee at the time of the passage is noted on the observation sheet and will serve to define the statistical portrait of the work done. 

In other sectors, such as services, form-based data collection is preferred, interviews with staff, and Kaizen workshops can help to make a diagnosis. This formula encourages staff to participate in the improvement and implementation phases of the solutions. 

Form of the value-added measurement by instantaneous observations