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Lean Manufacturing - APICS discussion

Kaikaku discussions

5th commandment

From: Norman Bodek
Sent: October 24, 2004

Dear Group,

Kaikaku means radical change. Isn't that what we expect from Lean, to make significant changes, expanding our own abilities and assisting our organizations to be more successful? What holds us back?

The 5th Commandment of Kaikaku from Hirano is: "Correct mistakes the moment they are found."

In the past, too often, mistakes were hidden. Remember what happened to the Roman Legion who reported to Caesar that they lost a battle - the messenger was killed. How often have you reported a mistake to be asked, "Why did you do that?"

Instead, what should have been said was, "Great, a mistake is our opportunity to learn? We should treat it like a jewel." Of course, we want to prevent mistakes from happening, some can be very costly. But, in truth we only learn from our mistakes. And a growing organization is continually learning.

It goes back to our early roots. In school, we were penalized for making mistakes. Every time we made a mistake our grades were lowered. Our teachers, befuddled by the system, did not understand the powerful learning opportunity when a mistake was made. Instead of putting a "dummy hat" on you when you made a mistake the teacher should have stopped the entire class and discussed the mistake, allowed you to explain yourself, so that you and others would learn from that mistake.

Toyota did that! Whenever a worker would detect a quality problem, or potential problem, or notice something wrong, instead of hiding it, they would pull a cord or push a button to stop the line, stop everyone from working to get to the root cause of the problem. In Japanese, this is called Jidoka and it is a very important and powerful part of the Lean philosophy.

How many of you are practicing Jidoka in your organization?

What do you do when you detect a mistake from others?

What do you do when you make a mistake?

I hope you enjoy reading each week the Kaikaku Commandments from Hirano and I do hope you will read my latest book Kaikaku The Power and Magic of Lean and give me some feedback.

Best regards

Norman Bodek



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