Lean ideals such as “respect for people” could be nothing more than a lofty aspiration without specific and gritty methods grounding it in daily practice. In the following video taken from his Virtual Learning Experience presentation last year, LEI Senior Advisor John Shook breaks down the tangible elements of TPS as a “socio-technical system” that respects and empowers its workers.
TPS has continued to be a management system that proves the success of separating human work from machine work, always ensuring that the machine’s purpose and function is to assist the human work, not the other way around. Shook explains this in great detail in his book Kaizen Express, but draws some great comparisons to standardized work and the attitudes of the human workers. Jidoka enables operations to build-in quality at each process and to separate operators from machines for more efficient work. As stated in the book, “Jidoka enables operations to build-in quality at each process and to separate operators from machines for more efficient work” (Narusawa and Shook 2009, 57).
Shook highlights the attitude that workers have when supporting one another, which is a key outcome that is seen when Jidoka is properly implemented. This respect for people and the dignity of their work is at the forefront here, as this socio-technical process is meant to help rather than hinder.
Jidoka is not an included feature with machines. The TPS pillar allows for ways to monitor each step of the process and tinker accordingly, making Jidoka a time-saving and value-creating means towards production and manufacturing.
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