Just Open My Mouth and Go to the Gemba

[tweetmeme source=”leanisgood” service=”ow.ly” only_single=false]I had an interesting experience at the dentist the other day that models what I see on the shop floor over and over.  I entered the office with a known problem that was diagnosed by another office.  They of course wanted new x-rays since they didn’t receive the ones from the previous office.  They assured me my insurance will pay for them again so no problem.  Of course we all wonder why our insurance increases all the time but that is a discussion for another time.  They did the 360 degree scan and noticed something and wanted a more detailed x-ray of the area.  So I bit down on the razor sharp piece in my mouth and took another x-ray.

After some wait time the dentist finally came out to see me from studying the x-rays and discussed everything that she saw and how it was tough to tell exactly what the issue was that had brought me there.  Eventually after some dental history chit chat she looked in my mouth and almost instantaneously said “Oh, here is the problem.  We would never see this on an x-ray.”  A quick filling and I was out of there.

However, they were so intent in using technology that they took up at least an extra 30 minutes of my time and how much expense for the x-rays?  If they would have just gone to the gemba, my mouth in this case, to see the problem with their own eyes we would have avoided much waste.

I see the same thing in factories all the time.  There is a problem.  We sit at our computers and analyze process information, warranty data, etc when we should just go out and see the problem ourselves.  I also see us use the latest greatest technology just because its the new gizmo, when there are many “old fashioned” techniques that are better, faster, and cheaper.

So remember, on your quest to be a great problem solver,  you have to open your mouth and get in the gemba!

Bryan

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7 Responses

  1. This is one reason why I love a kanban made of a white board and post-it notes.

  2. […]  https://leanisgood.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/just-open-my-mouth-and-go-to-the-gemba/ […]

  3. […] tools, and procedures.” – highly recommended book Understanding A3 Thinking page 133.”Just Open my Mouth and Go To the Gemba (Lean is Good):I see the same thing in factories all the time. There is a problem. We sit at our […]

  4. […] Just Open my Mouth and Go To the Gemba by Bryan Zeigler: I see the same thing in factories all the time. There is a problem. We sit at our computers and analyze process information, warranty data, etc when we should just go out and see the problem ourselves. I also see us use the latest greatest technology just because its the new gizmo, when there are many ‘old fashioned’ techniques that are better, faster, and cheaper.” […]

  5. Nice post Bryan. Perhaps much like the thought of going to a dentist is painful, mangement feels the same about going to gemba.

    • Hadn’t thought of it that way but now that you say it its exactly the same!

      Thanks
      Mike

  6. […] de Bryan Zeigler auteur du blog Lean is good, traduit par Emmanuel […]

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