Book ReviewLean

Stop Moving and Start Working

By Ron Pereira Updated on February 19th, 2008

In Taiichi Ohno’s Workplace Management we read about the difference between animal-like-motion and human work.  Simply put many people confuse moving around with working.  This is to say that we can work up a sweat and look as if we are really humping it when in fact little work is being done.  Ohno says it best in his no nonsense manner:

“For example, during the work of machining a part and changing its shape, the worker may skillfully stack up parts five high on the chute between the machines. This is the play of children in kindergarten, not the work of grown men. Companies that pay people for this type of activity will become unprofitable.”

This is a manufacturing example and you may not machine parts for a living.  But I promise if you study the way you do your job as an accountant, salesperson, fast food employee, etc. there will be many occasions where you are simply moving around with no work being done.  The challenge lies in seeing this and then doing something about it.

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