The Chalk Circle
The power of Gemba is easy to overlook or to forget about, or simply not have confidence when we watch out busy ant like colleagues whizzing around.
So let’s get back to basics.
Lean – remember the first lesson? Lean 101 as it might be coined in the United States? What are we about? What are we trying to do?
Yep, I thought you might have been distracted from that very question by your projects and metrics and objectives and management demands!
We are about the elimination of waste. Keep it simple. This is our purpose.
So Gemba, go and have a look. Purchase some chalk, draw a circle and stand in it. (You don’t need the chalk, or the circle, but it looks crazy enough to stop people asking you what you are doing which means you can concentrate on the job in hand- maybe this is why it was originally used for preventing attacks from spirits and the undead!
Watch, what to observe?
Where is the waste?
I used this technique with some clients this week to great effect.
One process we simply changed some drill chucks from key types to manual tightening types and saved 15 seconds out of a 53 second cycle time 1000 cycles/week = 15000 seconds =4 hours 10 minutes/week
A second process we eliminated 4 cycles of unnecessary motion, and created a permanent work cell eliminating any setting time. 4×1.5 seconds = 6 seconds per cycle + 15 minutes set up. 1000 cycles/week = 1hour 55 minutes/week
No fancy tools, no analysis, no computer system, nothing but the power of Gemba.
What did you see?