What is ECRS

Expanded as Eliminate, Combine, Rearrange & Simplify

It is one of the lean improvement methods. Idea is to look at the process and ask ECRS questions and then execute to remove/reduce waste.

When to use ECRS
  • When you need immediate improvements

  • To produce quick practical ideas to make the process lean

  • Can be combined with many other techniques to come up with improvement ideas

  • It supports PDCA.

  • Can be done in templated form way, combining with 5W, 1H

  • Its one of easiest ways for process map analysis

How to do ECRS
  • Do it with the "doers" , its a lean technique

  • Draw the process map / write the process steps

  • the steps should be written till lower level ( should be "go to the printer" "get print out" and NOT just print)

  • Write any known information/data on the process steps eg.

    • # of errors​

    • Amount of time to the activity

    • Show hand offs

    • Elapsed time : Amount of time elapsed between hand over and take over

    • mark rework loops

    • This step is optional, if you want to try the rest of the steps without it, go ahead

  • Now ask the questions ​

  • Eliminate - what if we don't do this step , does this step add value​​ . This is the top priority step - elimination of step is best. eg. instead of printing and scanning, can we directly turn it to PDF 

  • Combine - which steps can be combined

  • Rearrange - is this the best sequence in which to do the work

  • Simplify - why do we need this detail, is this best way to do it  eg. can we create a macro , a calculator , can we automate this

  • Once you are done with the exercise - go out on the floor and implement it 

Keep in mind
  • Its lean technique biased towards rapid execution, so for your ideas remember

  • you should have control over their implementation

  • don't spend money

  • execute now

  • do it with the team who does the work

Questions for ECRS