Monday, February 2, 2009

What is the importance of "Jidoka" Building in Quality within your culture?

Often when I'm instructing at various companies I will ask the question. How do you ensure you are building "Quality" into the products you make? Are all your team members building the product with the "customer" in mind? Do team members understand how they are contributing to the companies goals when they build these products? These are all important questions to answer in regard to the strength of the "culture" within your company. How do you define Culture:

The basic philosophies that a given group has invented, discovered, or developed in learning to cope with arising issues that have worked well enough to be considered valid, and therefore, to be taught to new team members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those issues.

Does your company have a strong culture? Do your team members (employees) believe in the work standards and goals your company has? When it comes to Culture, Toyota isn't perfect but they do demonstrate a strong belief system within the team members better than most companies today.

These questions take us back to the basic philosophy Toyota has in regard to Standardized Work. Standardized work is present for every position on the production line. How is Standardized Work defined:

Record of best known method to perform work repeatedly and orderly in order to ensure production without waste

The Toyota Production System "house" (TPS) has 2 main pillars - Jidoka, Just-in-Time, and Standardization as the foundation of the house. Taichii Ohno often said "Without Standards there can be no Kaizen", hence the need for Standardized Work, and the foundation of what Toyota builds its production system on.

Where does your company rate in regard to Standardized Work development? Does your leadership see it as important? It's a foundational piece to Culture and continuous improvement that most overlook as a need for success.

Til next time,

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