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Lessons From Japan: Day Three

by Lean Leaper
June 27, 2018

Lessons From Japan: Day Three

by Lean Leaper
June 27, 2018 | Comments (0)

>Today the learning group took a deep dive into the relationship between improving the work and developing people at the Miyata Plant. Specifically, we explored jishuken - an approach to problem solving that ties robust problem-solving to corporate objectives. We were also introduced to karakuri, a topic of this previous Post.

The press shop took us through a jishuken activity from last year. The corporate problem to solve was capacity - the press shop needed to increase it in order to meet projected sales. Rather than buy equipment and hire people, TMK would kaizen to make capacity. This large problem was broken down into two smaller problems: 1) reduce internal setup time for changeover; and 2) reduce inspection time. In turn, each of these was broken down into specific targets set in monthly increments. And the targets were then tackled by specific kaizen ideas.

Small kaizen ideas that reduced setup time by 8 seconds could be tied back to the large corporate objective.

In addition to the technical problem solving, the jishuken also measured the development of the people participating in the activity. The press shop had identified 77 capabilities critical to stamping and measured a current condition (pre-jishuken) with a new condition (post-jishuken).

Is Toyota improving productivity or developing people? What we saw today suggests not just that the answer is both but that the two are inseparable.

The postcards (above) share some of the key lessons learned by the individual members of our group today. Please enjoy the slides, which contain insights such as the following:

“The simplest, most common sense way is usually the best way. Don’t get cute.”

“Accumulation of small kaizens allows you to achieve your target.”

“Today was overwhelmingly about creativity over capital. Not only is it a dollar savings but it gets everyone involved and learning together.”

“By measuring competence as not the ability to perform a task, but to solve a problem, you create a self-sustaining system in which everyday problems are solved and at the same time people are being developed.”

“Karakuri exercises the mind and binds the team as well as gives hope and control to the line worker.”

“Toyota demonstrates respect for people by challenging them and then empowering them to improve their own work, making it easier and safer. Everyone wins—Toyota wins.”

--Matt Savas

If you are interested in joining the Lean Leader Learning Tour this September with Jim Womack in Georgetown, Kentucky please contact us at LearningTours@lean.org.

The views expressed in this post do not necessarily represent the views or policies of The Lean Enterprise Institute.
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