I’ve recently been involved with a SMED (single minute exchange of dies) kaizen event. The event itself was extremely effective and tons of fun… and while I could share the specifics of the event with you I won’t.
Instead, I want to focus on one particular part of the kaizen that I feel greatly attributed to our success – the video taping process.
Specifically I want to share some tips that may help you out if you decide to use video in the future.
1. Get Permission
First of all, before you even think about rolling video on someone… be sure to get their permission and their manager’s permission.
In some cases it’s probably not a bad idea to let human resources know as well. If you work in a union environment or in certain parts of the world video taping may or may not be allowed.
2. Talk to the Operator and Explain What You’re Doing
Next, once you have permission you need to spend some quality time with the “talent” meaning the person you plan to tape.
During this time you must explain why you are taping them, how the footage will be used, and how you are not out to catch them making a mistake.
In many cases an operator will feel a tremendous amount of anxiety when being video taped so please take the time to put their mind at ease.
3. Go to Gemba
Now, there are a few ways to go about recording the video. You can set the camera up in such a way as to see the entire process. This method probably helps relieve the stress of the operator a little.
The downside to this approach is you are often limiting yourself as to what you can see. For example, it may be nice to zoom in once in awhile. Also, if you are watching a process like a CNC lathe it may be difficult to capture everything from far away (I learned this the hard way).
With this said, I am personally a fan of getting as close as possible while not being in the way to record footage.
4. Have their Colleague Run the Camera
Another tip that has worked well for me is to ask one of the operator’s colleagues, preferably someone they really like, to operate the camera. This helps relieve anxiety and can even make the process fun for all involved.
Further, the “friend” may be quite familiar with the process being recorded in which case they can offer a small narration as to what is happening. This makes the analysis of the video tape much easier.
5. Involve the Operator in Analysis
Finally, it is absolutely critical to include the operator in the analysis of the video tape. The main reason is they are the best person to help you identify the various “elements” of the process. Also, they’ll likely have the best ideas for improving the process once you have taught them the basic principles of SMED.
What about you?
These are just a few tips I’ve learned… what video taping tips do you have?
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