Hurry Up and Wait! – Muri

[tweetmeme source="leanisgood" service="ow.ly"]Hurry up and wait.”  That was our saying way back when I was a young, and spritely United States Marine.  Our standard practice was to arrive for everything really early then wait for something to happen, the Air Force people to let us board a plane, the Navy people to stick needles in us — the intent was to never be late, get done whatever we needed to get done, and move on (the hard part was occupying your Marines while they waited – they tend to be creative and biased towards action – if you don’t keep them busy they will either damage important government property Continue reading

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Lean – Keep it Simple

Image Source - Wikimedia Commons

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How many times have you walked on the site floor with banners about lean and banishing waste and then trip over a pallet or had to pick-up trash on the floor? Have you ever had someone talk to you about OEE and TPM while you look over and see employees without the correct tools or standard work or a clean work area?

I am not a fan of new acronyms or catch phrases but when I see a situation like this, Continue reading

Ambiguous Visual Controls – Denver Airport

Photo by eflon under Creative Commons Attribution

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I wrapped up a week in a sister plant helping a great group of people improve their PM compliance.  I’m not kidding, this was a great group.  They were scope creepers so I had to herd cats a little bit now and then, but that’s a good problem.  This team was strate up wicked – biased toward action.  Thanks Robert, Kim, Ben, Scott, Paul, RJ, Mike, Mike, and Mike.  I had a great time.  I really didn’t want to be a pain in the a#s guys, but….  Inside joke.

Anyway, we report out, I go to the airport, check my bag (singular – for $20!), and head for gate A34 anxious to clear security, find a cold Fat Tire, and reflect on Continue reading

5S – Shadows Boards Are Bad and Reflection is Good

Photo by dabdiputs under Creative Common Attribution

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I’m doing a gemba walk and I find a tool setting on a piece of equipment.  I look at the shadow board for the area which is about 12 feet away.  What should I do?

  1. Pick the tool up and put it in its place.
  2. Deduct one point on the 5S audit form.
  3. Stand in an imaginary 30″ circle and watch what happens to the tool.
  4. Ask the operator why the tool is where it currently is.
  5. Blame the operator and take the appropriate disciplinary action in accordance with the collective bargained agreement or the employee handbook whichever applies.
  6. Some other distractor that I can’t come up with right now.

Continue reading

Another Interesting Poka Yoke

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Last week Bryan posted about a poka yoke (error proofing) that he found when he bought a kitchen table (here.)  Today I received a piece of office furniture and was frustrated when I looked at the instructions (I read instructions when on company time – I only follow my y chromosome driven instinct to disregard instruction until after I have screwed something up on my time.)  The instructions showed that the back of the chair should be attached to the seat of the chair with a socket head cap screw, a flat washer, and a lock washer.  What was not clear was what went where?  Continue reading

Interesting Poka Yoke

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We bought a new kitchen table yesterday and found an interesting mistake proofing system for all the nuts, bolts, and washers that are needed for assembly.  They were in a bag that was put inside a bigger red bag.  The top of the red bag was twisted Continue reading

Policy Deployment #3 – Creating the Plan

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Over the last couple of weeks I have posted on policy deployment (here and here.)  In the first post we talked about the importance of a big multi-year goal.  In the second we talked about the importance of real people, those who would have to execute being involved in determining the how and the support required to achieve the big goal.  That really is …The Plan. In this post I will show a couple of ways that you might break that big multi-year goal down Continue reading