In a world full of opportunities to improve, trials, countermeasures solutions and yes, waste, we all have much to be grateful for. Whatever position you are in, whatever place you are at, gratitude can be a powerful tool if harnessed and used regularly. Studies all around the world have shared the benefits of gratitude in the workplace, homes and in daily practice. In this, the spirit of gratitude and before you share in the comments section below what you are grateful for, we would like to say, thank you. Thank you to each of you who work your hardest everyday. Thank you, to each of you who come home happy and ready to serve those you love. Thank you, to each of you who have indeed IMPROVED the world through gratitude.
Many years ago a sociologist by the name of Vilfredo Pareto developed what eventually would become one of the most well known concepts in the world. Pareto who had already made significant contributions to the world of microeconomics discovered that about 80% of the wealth in italy was owned by only 20% of the population. This revolutionary discovery eventually lead to what we know today as the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule. Over some period of time the Pareto concept began to gain a reputation for separating what is often referred to as the vital few from the trivial many. While it is important to understand history and how things come to be what we really want to understand today is when to use the Pareto chart and how we can leverage opportunities from analyzing the chart.
Almost every project will include brainstorming of some kind at some point in the project lifecycle. Brainstorming sessions can be a powerful gateway to unlock solutions, make issues visible, prioritize actions and bring experienced minds together. When individuals come together as a team, innovative ideas can be born. One of the struggles of being a part of a powerful and productive brainstorming session is that they generate many great ideas and often reveal a large amount of issues. This can leave a group feeling overwhelmed. Often times, the wide array of ideas can be hard to organize, understand, validate and act on. Worse yet, many members of a team might leave feeling invalidated, unheard or completely shut down.
The first day on the job is always an exciting experience for any new employee. A new chance to show your skills, meet new people and grow in a new organization. Excited to learn something new in training you get thrown to the wolves and here the phrase "you will figure it out." That can be a bit scary to say the least. Surprisingly as you start figuring out everything has procedures connected to it. Three days later and you have mastered erp, assembly and every office function in the organization. A bit surprised by this you're off to a great start!
In one of our Online Courses, a participant recently posed the question, "What is the Difference between Standards and Standardization"? To answer this question we need to first define each of the two terms.
A few months back I received a phone call from an old friend. After we had finished catching up for a bit he began describing to me how he had his employees calculate the yield of his pizza's. each day the employees would mark how much came out and how much was put in. The employee would then divide the out number by the in number giving him the yield percentage. Sound familiar? The method that was being used to calculate yield is known as traditional yield calculation. Out of curiosity I asked him, "what is your yield percentage?" He then shared with me that his yield for each day was always right about 96%. So what was the issue? 96% production rate is not the best, but it's not the worst either. That's when he mentioned that things didn't seem to add up.
So where do we start? Let's look at the process right! First I asked him to give me a run through of the process that was being used to make the pizza's. As it turns out he had two separate processes, one for popular orders and one for unique orders. We will look at the "popular order" process here.
What is First Time Yield?
The first time yield, first pass yield or throughput yield is a metric used to determine how a process is performing in relation to the number of good units or services it produces. In other words it tells us the number of good units to the total number of units excluding wasteful activities like rework and scrap on units that can not be fixed. In the case of our pizza we actually have a 90% first time yield not 96% as the traditional calculation showed us.
How is it Calculated?
6% change in a measurement is quite significant. Can you imagine if that change was in car parts, airplane parts or computers and not pizza's? The way we calculate first time yield, throughput yield or first pass yield is simple by dividing the number of GOOD UNITS (excluding any rework or scrap) by the THE TOTAL NUMBER OF UNITS GOING THROUGH THE PROCESS. If you are interested in a template the bottom of the page will give you a free download.
Why use First Time Yield?
So why do we use first time yield instead of traditional or final yield? The most obvious reason is that using final or traditional yield methods keeps the "hidden factory" hidden. The final yield only divides the number of acceptable pieces by the number original number, or what comes out in comparison to what went in. Looking back on our pizza's we can understand now that the yield was not really 96%, in other words using the traditional yield calculation hides wasteful activities like rework, lost time and many other forms of waste. However when a metric like first time yield is used we take into consideration only process steps that yield good parts or services and exclude rework (first pass). This gives us greater insight as to what is actually going on in the process. Using metrics such as first time yield also helps combat the famous, it's just the way we always do it behaviors by exposing rework and other wasteful activities so that they do not get built into future processes.
In the case of my friend he was losing 6% on every 100 pizza's which could turn out to be a significant opportunity to improve his process and gain additional resource time in the near future. Ultimately first time through yield is a significant step in the right direction, however most processes are linked together in order to create a systematic way of accomplishing tasks along the way. When there is a string of processes involved FTY is not the ideal way to measure. These cases like we will see in our "unique order" pizza's are better suited using a rolled throughput yield. So stay tuned as we calculate the complex unique orders of our pizza process using rolled throughput. Don't forget to download your free template by clicking on the link below.
Have you ever gotten into a discussion of why? because. Why? because. Last weekend I had the great pleasure of this discussion for what seemed to be the first time. I never really put much thought into it but asking why never really was a difficulty for me.
Oftentimes when we want to use the 5 whys to drill from issue to root cause we end up in a pattern of why, because. Why, because. Or, we conduct a long analysis only to find out that none of our levels of causation matched at all. One of the best known examples of a 5 why analysis was performed by the master Taiichi Ohno. He used the example of a welding robot stopping in the middle of its operation. Like a sensei does he naturally went from initial issue to root cause with almost no difficulty at all. So, how do we begin developing this level of mastery with regards to root cause analysis? Here are a few important things to keep in mind when looking for the ROOT cause.
For years now teams have come together on baseball fields, football fields, soccer fields, race tracks, offices and homes in what has become known as the huddle. These quick and spirited standups often last no more than 5 minutes and help team members refocus their efforts while planning for things to come. Whether the purpose is to realign or align team members focus towards an objective, the daily 10 - 15 minute scrum, stand - up or huddle works.
With the new year upon us posts regarding health are widespread. Resolutions have begun, talk of parking further away and staying in the green aisles of the grocery store seem to whisper to our ears on every social media channel known to humans. Well this post will do the same. If you're looking to grab a few extra steps during your day, strap on the fitbit and let's head on out for a "waste walk."
What is a waste walk?
The waste walk is one of the best ways to train employees, reveal waste and discover opportunities to improve. Simply put it is a time where teams or individual's head to the gemba and look for waste. The waste walk can be a standard activity, planned event or a now and then practice. The only thing that is required for people to have during a waste walk is a basic understanding of the 8 forms of waste.
How to Perform a Waste Walk:
Before you can begin your waste walk you need to make sure that everyone is aware and understands the 8 forms of waste. A few ways that you can help people understand waste might be:
2. Once everyone has a good understanding of the 8 forms of waste you may want to consider establishing a standard time for activities such as waste walks to be performed. Setting a standard time will allow teams and individuals to plan for their waste walk. It will also help people to understand the importance of going to the gemba regularly. Along with establishing a standard time it can be very helpful to develop a spaghetti graph or a roadmap that charts the waste walk out. This will help you focus and can also be used on specific value streams or areas.
3. While you walk the area/value stream look for as many forms of waste as you can. Take a moment to write down every form of waste that you find. Be sure to be very specific, every form of waste is an opportunity for improvement.
4. Prioritize your list and select forms of waste that can be removed right away. If there are other forms of waste that need analysis place them on a suggestion form or a kaizen paper.
Waste walks are a very easy way to discover waste and develop lean thinking minds. As you begin to walk value streams or areas daily you will learn to see and act on even the most intricate forms of waste. This type of approach drives kaizen (small, incremental) improvements. Whether it's a lean journey or a new year's resolution taking a regular waste walk will certainly add to your lean vision.
Jesse Allred - firstname.lastname@example.org
Lean manufacturing offers a number of tools and strategies to complete projects, streamline processes, identify wastes, and improve efficiency. One tool that’s often overlooked is the project management concept known as the Obeya room.
Obeya, sometimes spelled Oobeya, is a Japanese term translating to the "big room." These physical rooms utilize visual management and collaboration to ensure projects are seen through completion and in a timely manner. Using posters, charts, and graphs allows everyone who enters the room to quickly understand thought processes, plans, and offers a space for people to review the relevant information easily. An Obeya room is a great area for managers, workers, and planners to get in the zone when working on projects. Obeya rooms foster an environment that will help keep the project on track.