Lean ABC – Interview with Matthias Gramer

STAUFEN MAGAZINE 2021 | No. 4 | Deutsche Bahn Fernverkehr | Academy

Mr. Gramer, why did you choose Staufen AG to develop and implement the internal training program?

Matthias Gramer: Our goal was to find a customized solution for
DB Fernverkehr in terms of size and corporate culture as well as for the specific challenges. The training concept was to be adapted specifically to us and our needs, but also integrate external expertise and market standards; at the same time, it was important to maintain a strong practical focus. Staufen AG
responded to this in an excellent manner. With its expertise and experience in custom design and implementation of training programs for lean experts and managers, Staufen has completely convinced us.

It was also important for us to become less dependent on external partners in this area in the medium term, and the Staufen approach included a corresponding train-the-trainer concept for our DB colleagues right from the start. As a result, the training courses could be carried out step-by-step within DB by ourselves.

How was the practical relevance taken into account that was so
important for you?

Matthias Gramer: The training courses, both for our lean experts and the managers, were all held at locations where we also have maintenance plants, mostly in the plants themselves. The training designs always included workshop components that were conducted on-site on real processes and problems. This had the added benefit that we were able to identify tricky issues during the training sessions and often even solve problems directly.

For operational reasons, it was not possible to continuously examine or adjust processes in the DB Fernverkehr plants. Therefore, we developed a new simulation, which is essentially based on the model of an ICE train. This allowed us to transport the shop floor to the training room, so to speak, and to simulate and optimize processes in a practical manner. Whether maintenance steps or efficient cleaning – thanks to a removable roof and complete interior, we were able to examine and optimize the most important processes, especially with regard to the cooperation of the many parties involved.

How did the training program affect internal operations?

Matthias Gramer: The work and communication in the teams, but also between departments, has improved. We are speaking more and more the same language in terms of lean/performance management and generally have a much better common understanding of what we want to achieve and how to go about it – and all this across divisions. Because that is how Lean ABC was designed: to be cross-departmental and cross-functional. For
the management training courses, for example, this meant that I, as a Division Manager, sat in on training sessions with team leaders and foremen, just as my maintenance and provisioners sat in on training sessions with colleagues from the schedule or fleet. While this was challenging because the backgrounds and needs of participants varied greatly, it helped us create a
common understanding of the cause and of each other.

How will Lean ABC be carried into the future at DB Fernverkehr?

Matthias Gramer: Thanks to the cross-hierarchical and cross-departmental composition of the participants in the training courses, it is now possible for us to better implement lean processes at different levels. Our managers are also now trained to independently establish a sustainable culture of change.
Because change comes from living by example, not by reading about it. We are now at a point where we can further optimize the lean way of working on site in the individual areas and as a result become more and more “lean”.

Based on Lean ABC developed jointly with Staufen for DB Fernverkehr, Lean
Excellence ABC is now being rolled out in the DB Group, thus using the joint findings and experience to advance the topic of lean and excellence in processes throughout the Group.

With its expertise and experience in the customized design and implementation of training programs for lean experts and managers, the Staufen Academy has completely convinced us.

Matthias Gramer, COO, DB Group

Further Content

Header DB Fernverkehr
August 5, 2021

DB Fernverkehr

Staufen AG was the selected partner for developing a long-term, implementation-oriented qualification concept for DB Fernverkehr AG. Together, the “Lean ABC – Application, Training, Coaching” program was initiated.

Read more

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