The assignment is simple: find a spot to observe the process silently. Stand and observe for 30 min. Write down 30 small problems such as wasted motion, energy, safety concerns, or abnormalities of any kind. That’s 1 thing per minute, including writing time, so the key is what the Japanese call kizuki or the ability to notice.
Just observe and write – don’t comment or discuss with others, other than within necessity of being polite. Describe what you see and why you think it is a problem. Stay in one area and look deeply. It’s easy to find 30 things if you flutter around like a butterfly to the big obvious wastes. Don’t do that but plant yourself like a tree and really see.
Afterward review findings with team members. Identify with them the type of waste or loss for each item you wrote down. Have a “5 why” dialog to learn the reason for the situation and identify countermeasures. Make sure to put them at ease, let them know that you are doing a learning exercise, and want to understand their process better.
That’s half of the exercise. You still have 30 minutes. Personally resolve at least one issue in the next 30 minutes. Prioritize safety and environmental issues first. Share findings with the area team or area leader as improvement points.
What you will need to get started:
- Worksheet, or lined paper on which you can trace out as below
- Pencil or pen
- Clipboard or firm writing surface
- Comfortable shoes to stand in for 60 minutes
- Just over an hour of time
What did you learn from this exercise? Please write your answers below. You have from when you read this until however long you feel it is okay to let problems go unaddressed to complete this assignment. I will be disappointed if nobody does their homework.