The Toyota Production System is based on 2 Pillars which are, Jidoka and Just in Time (JIT). Jidoka is "Building in Quality" at the process and JIT is building what is needed, when is needed in the amount needed. Toyota has always had the philosophy of stopping the line when defects are found, this can be done by anyone who sees a discrepancy with a known Standard (what should be happening within a process). The lines can also be stopped by Machines which are sometimes called "pokeyoke" (fail-safe devices), in order to ensure a defect is not passed on.
Now, more than ever, in this economy it is important to ensure we are looking at our work in the perspective of the customer. If you have a set standard or a known defect rate that is acceptable in "your" company; has that standard been set or determined in the "eye of the customer"? When you think about it, if you are the customer and you have a defect on your vehicle that rate becomes 100% for you. For the company it may be .001% which doesn't seem too big of a deal right? WRONG!! What if you were that person? How does that make you feel in regard to a high quality vehicle?
One way Toyota looks at this perspective is to ensure that Jidoka is within each process on the line, they do this by a process call JKK (Jikotei Kanketsu) literally meaning - Building in Quality with Ownership. What does "Ownership" mean to a person on a process? Ownership is defined in JKK as understand all the "necessary conditions" and "process criteria" so that ZERO defects are passed on. If team members understand these perspectives then they are more apt to understand when the process is NOT to standard and to be able to countermeasure the discrepancy through problem solving or PDCA thinking.
Necessary Conditions can be items like design, equipment parameters, engineering, and manufacturing. Having those aspects understood then Standards can be written and "skills" can be taught in order to ensure the process stops when necessary and defects are not passed on.
For example: If I worked at a Sub shop and my job was to make high quality sub sandwiches for customers based on their favorite selection, then as a sub creator, I must understand my standardized work, necessary conditions and process criteria in order to make the highest quality sub possible. The equipment must be working correctly in order to bake the bread at a certain temperature in a timely manner. (not to over or under cook). Properly labeling all the different kinds of breads to ensure visual controls. A team member must also understand the necessary condition for keeping the meats, cheeses and condiments at the right temperature. The should be laid out in order of need or frequent usage. I need to also understand how thick to slice the cheese, where to put the meat, how much meat is the standard per type of sandwich, how to spread the mayonnaise, and where to cut the sandwich etc. All these items are process criteria and necessary conditions to create a "made to order" sub sandwich which meets the customer needs.
The same criteria needs to be understood in your environment as well, whether your making sub sandwiches, cars, or computers, if there are processes, people, and equipment then standards can be set, along with necessary conditions and process criteria to ensure team member have a "self quality check" giving them the authority to stop the line. I called this "Enhanced Standardized Work" which means taking Standardized work to the next level, understand the key points and reasons to why it was set that way to begin with. Standards are the foundation of the Toyota Production System, understanding their importance and following them is one of the key's to success in implementing Lean. Until Next Time,