Monday, January 09, 2012

Once again--why we go to gemba

As part of our ongoing learning experience in implementing standard management work, one of my colleagues and I walked through a production area this morning.  As planned, we stopped to speak with an area supervisor near her visual metric display.  She had two questions, which we were discussing....


My colleague noticed a nearby piece of equipment six inches off of its appointed place.  Now, not all six-inch displacements are critical but this one was and he knew why.  This displacement bore the risk of causing a significant quality problem.   He knew it and it allowed a discussion with the supervisor, at that point, at that time, about the criticality of the correct equipment placement, what to do about it and how to prevent it.  

There is no way any report, paper or electronic, would have ever shown this potential problem.  There is no way any conference room would allow the timely, clear discussion he had with the supervisor.  There is no way any management seminar could ever communicate to a supervisor the passion for getting this part of the process right. 

We had to go to the workplace.  

Keep learning. 

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