Guidance

Highways England Lean Maturity Assessment (HELMA)

Guidance for Highways England supply chain to determine the extent to which your organisation has adopted Lean principles.

Highways England encourages its supply chain partners to adopt Lean principles and foster a culture of continuous improvement - to mutual advantage. Successful implementation of Lean thinking has shown significant results, with improvements in excess of 25% in the areas of time, cost and quality often being demonstrated along with improved employee satisfaction.

The Highways England Lean Maturity Assessment (HELMA) aims to help organisations in the Highways England supply chain determine the extent to which they have adopted Lean principles.

You should use this to assess where your organisation, or the part of it that provides products and services to Highways England, stands in terms of Lean transformation. Lean transformation is the process by which organisations take on Lean principles and progressively, through a planned programme, ensure they are adopted to provide a more competitive capability.

HELMA uses a series of topic areas and maturity statements to assess your level of Lean implementation. It’s designed to assess organisations that cover a wide range of different activities from design, consultancy, construction, production, maintenance etc. It covers varying organisational formats and supply chain tiers. As such the interpretation of the framework topic areas may vary meaning depending on your area of operation. However in most cases each topic area has been written to have relevance to your organisation.

Topic areas include:

  • integration of Lean in business strategy
  • Lean leadership and engagement
  • deployment management/Lean infrastructure
  • understanding customer value
  • understanding of processes and value streams
  • use of methodologies and tools
  • organisational coverage, activity and capability
  • performance improvement/benefit realisation & delivery
  • Lean collaboration, climate and culture
  • supplier maturity

HELMA has 2 main aims:

  • to enable you to assess your organisation, or the part of it providing products and services to Highways England, in terms of Lean maturity
  • to provide a structured method for Highways England to carry out moderation of self assessments - ensuring that scoring is consistent across the supply chain - areas of best practice can be identified and exchange of ideas and moderator feedback can assist with developing action plans

HELMA guidance

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HELMA matrix spreadsheet

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HELMA improvement template

This file is in an OpenDocument format

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HELMA example improvement plan

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Published 5 January 2016
Last updated 25 January 2018 + show all updates
  1. This page has been updated with the superseded guidance.
  2. HELMA improvement template has been updated with a new document.
  3. HELMA Improvement Plan added.
  4. First published.