By Jon Miller | Post Date: February 14, 2007 10:57 AM | Comments: 7
In chapter 32 of Taiichi Ohno's Workplace Management, Ohno said, "There is a correct sequence to kaizen." We must first study and improve the work itself (manual work) then improve the process (sequence, steps) and then improve the machine. The idea is that you should not buy a machine without first considering the process and building it around the people and the work that they do. Yet this is not at all how the world works, unfortunately.
A few years ago when my laptop broke, my company purchased me a new one. At that time, no consideration whatsoever was given the the manual work I would do with this machine, the process itself, or the sequence of steps needed to perform my work. We simply bought the a mid-range Wintel machine and it was back to work.
Recently, I learned by accident that I have probably wasted thousands and thousands of seconds over the years in how I rename files. If you select (click on) a document and press F2 it lets you rename the file.
This is certainly not the most important work element in a typical day of working at the computer, but it is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If an Industrial Engineer had first studied and kaizened my manual work, my laptop keyboard would be a lot bigger, possibly with color-coded keys, and my mouse a lot smaller.
I understand that Microsoft did a similar study of user behavior, and added a "slide show" button to the Vista operating system that allows you to turn off anything that might interrupt your slide show during a presentation. This is another small example of building the machine around the process of how people work. There is a correct sequence to kaizen.
Taiichi Ohno also said the fastest motion is the easiest method. Never accept equipment as it is given to you by the manufacturer, never accept the process method as it is today, never accept the average time as the correct time. Be dissatisfied and do kaizen.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.