20 Keys Definition
The 20 Keys is an intuitive evaluation and rating system that measures operational performance and guides ongoing improvement activities. For any work function or work group, the 20 Keys lists the 20 elements that are part of good performance. Then for each element, there are 5 levels of performance noted as: Traditional, Learning, Leading, World-Class and Currently Invincible. Each key and each level has a brief description that defines the condition of the key (performance element) at that level.
The 20 Keys can be used to evaluate and give guidance to a site, a function or a workgroup. Each template is customized according to application. For example, manufacturing, service, office, supply chain, human resources, etc.
Each key gives a score for the current state as agreed by those teams working in the environment. The Keys also provide guidance for what needs to happen to attain the next level of performance. An example of Key 2 Cleaning and Organizing is shown here:
20 Keys Application Within a Team
When the system is used by individual workgroups, as they are inside Kaufman Global’s Lean Daily Management System, they help each workgroup evaluate and understand their own performance and then develop a plan for improvement. An important aspect of this approach is that the results are owned and acted upon by the workgroup that rates themselves. This fosters a culture of structured engagement.
Connecting Work with Operational and Strategic Plans
Many organizations use the 20 Keys to operational excellence improvement activities with operational and strategic plans as shown in the diagram here.
The 20 Keys was originally conceived by Iwao Kobayashi decades ago to evaluate facility-wide manufacturing operations. In the mid-90s, Kaufman Global significantly revised the initial concept to compel focus upon individual workgroups while introducing a practical improvement planning module to amplify workgroup relevance and utility. Kaufman Global has developed multiple sets of keys for a wide variety of industries and functions including: Hospitals, Oilfield Services, Human Resources, Business Process, etc.
Kaufman Global’s Rapid Performance Evaluation (RPE) uses the 20 Keys to deliver a solid baseline performance score.
We’ve updated our classic Lean Manufacturing whitepaper. It gives detailed information about how the 20 Keys fits inside any improvement system.« Back to Glossary Index