Standardize

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Standardizing your processes is in the foundations of lean. According to Toyota Production System, standardizing and observing your operations (go and see) are the basis for continuous improvement.

The following issues must be considered:

  •             What are we going to make?
  •             How? (Procedures)
  •             With what? (Human and material resources)
  •             Forecasting of  cost, time and performance
  •             Persons in charge
  •             Risks and setbacks

We should review our current standards (e.g., ISO9001) in our companies to see if they fulfil the previous aspects.

Before visiting the site, production managers and foremen should review these standards to check if the reality is according to the plan. Without this first step, the “gemba walks” will be inefficient.

I would like to comment  the term “poka-yokes”. It´s a japanese word that means "mistake-proofing”.  Some examples could be: plugs, the head of a butane gas cylinder, a check-list, etc. In a lean manufactoring process, a poka-yoke is any mechanism that helps an equipment operator avoids (yokeru) mistakes (poka). The term was coined by Shigeo Shingo as part of the Toyota Production System. One of our goals in our complex systems would be to find useful poka-yokas to prevent mistakes. 

The Lean Construction Department of Berkeley University has developed poka-yokas to construction field. Visit the link.

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