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From the Lean Lexicon 5th Edition:
Jidoka: Providing machines and operators the ability to detect when an abnormal condition has occurred and immediately stop work. This enables operations to build in quality at each process and to separate men and machines for more efficient work. Jidoka is one of the two pillars of the Toyota Production System along with just-in-time. Jidoka highlights the causes of problems because work stops immediately when a problem first occurs. This leads to improvements in the processes that build in quality by eliminating the root causes of defects. Jidoka sometimes is called autonomation, meaning automation with human intelligence. This is because it More »
Boosting Organizational Resilience Through Jidoka
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | October 5, 2020
Jidoka enables operators to build in quality into the production process--and forms a foundation of stability helping a company respond to crisis with resilience. This roundup shares resources explaining jidoka and helping you get started with it. More »
Lean Roundup: Jidoka
By: Tom Ehrenfeld | October 27, 2016
"Jidoka captures the principle of building quality into the production process—of designing work so that the people making the product have the means and mindset to be constantly vigilant for what is okay and what is not. By attacking waste at the source, jidoka starkly contrasts with an unfortunately-too-common approach of hiding flaws, passing them down the line, and relying on someone else to fix problems far from their source. " More »
Lean WX – An Rx for Making Things Better
By: Josh Howell | November 17, 2020
As someone whose understanding of lean/TPS grew exponentially by working on the line, Josh Howell encourages every would-be lean enterprise out there, even those who have “only” created a model line, to try this approach to capability development. More »
Avoid the Costly Work of Rework
By: Rose Heathcote | October 19, 2020
Customers care only for the product or service they receive, says Rose Heathcote. They're not interested in how much effort it took for you to make it happen or how many times you had to fiddle with it to get it right. They're also not interested in what it cost you. So, we cannot make our lumpy processes their problem. More »
Autonomous Car Beta Version, Anyone? A Q&A with Jim Womack on Disruptive Innovation
By: Jim Womack | April 30, 2020
What may be ahead for carmakers, product developers, and the lean management movement in a disrupted world is the subject of this Q&A with Jim Womack, founding CEO of the nonprofit Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI). He talked with LEI Communications Director Chet Marchwinski at the Designing the Future Summit that showcases how companies are applying lean product and process development (LPPD). More »
The Impact of Social Distancing on Assembly Operations
By: John Y. Shook | April 1, 2020
Take a deep-dive look at how GE Appliances and Herman Miller are working on designing a safe work environment for production employeesduring the Covid-19 pandemic. More »
Isn’t the obsession with problem solving unnecessarily negative and depressing?
By: Michael Ballé | February 3, 2020
Dear Gemba Coach: Isn’t the obsession with problem solving unnecessarily negative and depressing? More »
How do I practice lean when I don't feel a strong attachment to my knowledge worker team?
By: Michael Ballé | March 25, 2019
Dear Gemba Coach: How do I practice lean consistently when I don't feel a strong attachment to my team? We do "knowledge work" and are rarely together in the same room. Meetings never follow a standard format – nor regular cadence. More »
What's your problem
By: John Shook | October 31, 2018
There may be nothing more fundamental to lean thinking and practice than problem solving. For that matter, there may be nothing more fundamental to being human than problem solving. We breathe, we eat, we create civilizations – we deal with (solve, tackle) problems every step of the way. More »
As CEO, how do I get my management team to support the lean effort?
By: Michael Ballé | April 23, 2018
Dear Gemba Coach: As a CEO, lean has enabled me to renew our company’s profitable growth, so I love it. But getting my management team on board is a daily struggle. Thoughts? More »
What's wrong with taking a tools approach to lean management?
By: Michael Ballè | April 16, 2018
Dear Gemba Coach: I keep hearing that a tool approach to lean is wrong, but tools deliver results – how can that be wrong? More »
Why do you keep referring to Toyota; does it still matter?
By: Michael Balle | March 26, 2018
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m very interested in lean, but fail to see why you guys keep referring to Toyota. What does a Toyota plant look like and why should it still matter? More »
Is kanban relevant to office work?
By: Michael Balle | March 19, 2018
Dear Gemba Coach: I understand that kanban is an important part of lean, but I work in an office environment, and it’s hard to see how production orders on cardboard cards relate to improving project management – what am I missing? More »
What does “separation of human work and machine work” mean?
By: Balle, Michael | November 29, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach: I’ve been trying to learn more about Jidoka and I keep coming across references to “separation of human work and machine work” but I’m not sure what this means – any pointers? More »
7 Elements of Quality on the Shop Floor
By: Andrew Quibell | November 28, 2017
"How do you lean out a quality approach that can work on the shop floor (maybe even compatible in a healthcare environment as well)?" people often ask Andrew Quibell. "How does it look? What should you include?" Read more. More »
Is promising that lean will make work more meaningful disrespectful to people?
By: Michael Ballè | January 16, 2017
Dear Gemba Coach: Can lean really make work more meaningful for everybody? Isn’t this overpromising to workers and disrespectful to them because management really can't deliver on the promise? More »
Does implementing lean mean creating a lean management system?
By: Michael Ballè | December 19, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach: My understanding is that implementing lean means setting up a lean management system. You seem to disagree. Would you explain? More »
What should I know about lean management that I won’t find in books?
By: Michael Ballè | October 21, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m new to lean and reading all I can find about it, but is there something specific I need to look out for; is there something I should know that I won’t find in the books? More »
Our new boss doesn’t 'get' lean; what can I do to convince him?
By: Michael Ballè | October 6, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach: We’ve had spectacular lean results with our old boss, but our new boss doesn’t get it. He’s already cut his gemba walks from weekly to monthly and doesn’t see the point of kanban. What can I do to convince him? More »
Does respect for humanity mean the same as respect for people?
By: Ballé, Michael | August 30, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach: Does respect for humanity mean the same as respect for people? I hear that the literal translation of the Japanese phrase “respect for people” is really respect for “humanness” – whatever that means? More »
We’re installing an andon system – what should we expect?
By: Michael Ballè | July 18, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach: We’re installing an andon system – what should we expect? More »
The Hidden Waste in Inspection
By: Andrew Quibell | June 29, 2016
When looking for areas of muda, your inspection department probably isn't the first place that comes to mind. But you may be surprised to find out that inspection is waste by its very nature. In his third installment of his series on areas of waste in manufacturing, Andrew Quibell breaks down this problem and illustrates the true solution to eliminating defects. More »
I’m struggling to understand exactly what people mean by a “lean system”?
By: Michael Ballè | May 30, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m struggling to understand exactly what people mean by a “lean system”? More »
What does “separating human work from machine work" mean?
By: Ballé, Michael | February 15, 2016
Dear Gemba Coach: What does “separating human work from machine work” mean? How does it matter? More »
What is the difference between standard work and procedures?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 28, 2015
Dear Gemba Coach: What is the difference between standard work and procedures? More »
What is the lean approach to quality – is that what six sigma is all about?
By: Ballé, Michael | December 7, 2015
Dear Gemba Coach: I’m a frequent reader of your columns and you always seem to emphasize quality first, but I can’t find many books detailing a lean approach to quality – is this what six sigma is about? More »
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