Does Respect For Humanity Mean The Same As Respect For People? | M. Ballé [Review]

Sourced through LEI

“Dear Gemba coach,

Does respect for humanity mean the same as respect for people? I hear that the literal translation of the Japanese phrase “respect for people” is really respect for “humanness” – whatever that means?

I honestly don’t know, but it’s a very interesting point. I don’t know a word of Japanese,…”

My comments: It’s odd that a  Gemba coach should admit to not knowing a word of Japanese. This career choice, perhaps, implies an effort at mastering this language.

 

“…but Jon Miller, who does, makes a similar point here: he says the original Toyota phrase really means ‘holding precious what it is to be human.'”

My comments: Yes, Jon Miller grew up in Japan, speaks Japanese like a native, and has done a great job translating  Taiichi Ohno’s Workplace Management.  With only four years of immersion in Japan, I am not at his level, but I know the language well enough to read the manufacturing literature and tell the difference between respect for people and respect for humanity in the TPS sense. Here are a few posts on this subject:

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Question On Optional Components | Arvind Janarthanam

“Greetings! First of all, I am thankful to this blog. It has helped me out with my queries.

I’m working as a scheduler and we are facing sudden change in the optional parts that we supply to our customer. The reliability of the forecast we have is coming down. Most of our parts being imported is affecting our cost due to last-minute freight. Can you please suggest an approach to arrive at the minimum number of stock we could maintain against each options(based on past data) so that we strike a balance between the inventory and availability.

Arvind”

Michel Baudin‘s response:

Dear Arvind:

You tell me you are a scheduler, but many of the actions that can improve the procurement of optional parts are beyond the range of what a scheduler can decide. You are also asking a generic question, to which there is no generic, universal answer. All I can do is lay out a few possible courses of action.

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How to Pick the Fastest Line at the Supermarket | New York Times [Debunk]

Inside a Whole Foods in Brooklyn (New York TImes)

“[…] Choose a single line that leads to several cashiers

Not all lines are structured this way, but research has largely shown that this approach, known as a serpentine line, is the fastest. The person at the head of the line goes to the first available window in a system often seen at airports or banks. […]”

Sourced through the New York Times

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

No! Research shows no such thing. The serpentine line does not reduce the customers’ mean time through the system. Little’s Law tells us that, in steady state, regardless of how the queue is organized:

{Mean\, time\, in\, system = \frac{Mean\, number\, of\,  customers\, in \, system}{Mean\, service\,  rate}}

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Why I don’t like Lean houses, except one | Christian Hohmann | LinkedIn Pulse

Christian Hohmann

“I never liked the (Toyota inspired) Lean houses and their many variants. First all these models are generally understood as prescriptive rather than descriptive, thus those new to Lean tend to adopt and copy one model without necessarily understanding its real meaning. The building blocks of Lean houses are principles, methods and tools, reinforcing the feeling that it’s all about “techniques”.

The house building metaphor also suggests a beginning with sound foundations, robust pillars and when the roof is atop, the organization is done. We’ll see later it is not in this way. To add to the confusion, with the broad choice of variants, which is the right one to look at?”

Sourced through LinkedIn Pulse

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

tps-house-300x244I share your reservations about the many “Houses of Lean” floating around, but my main concern with them is vagueness. The descriptive versus prescriptive confusion that you bring up is one concern. In one diagram I am looking at right now, “Heijunka” sits on top of “Stability” and underneath “Pull System,” “Takt Time” and “Continuous Flow.” Whatever it is intended to mean, it can’t be that you should implement Heijunka as soon as your processes are stable. Given that there are very few companies outside of the Toyota supply chain that have even implemented Heijunka, it is clearly an advanced topic, not to be tackled until you have done many other things, including items listed above it.

The basic operation when drawing a house of Lean is stacking. It has a well-defined meaning in computer networks, where you talk about “protocol stacks.” For example, the worldwide web sits on top of the internet, and it means that, behind the web face it shows you, your browser uses the internet protocol to communicate with the world, in ways that would be unintelligible to you. The meaning is obviously different in a “House of Lean,” but what is it? And what does it mean to draw a manager inside?

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Teaching Adults: The Example Of New Plant Design

I have recently been involved in discussions of methods to teach adult learners and the ways if differs from teaching children or young adults. My personal experience is exclusively with adult professionals in a continuing education mode, and I provided examples from my recently most successful course, on New Plant Designdeveloped in 2005 at the request of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, and given more than 15 times in China since, and twice in Russia, although never in the US or Western Europe.

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Industry 4.0 – Revolution or Evolution | Bodo Wiegand | Wiegand’s Watch

 

Bodo WiegandBodo Wiegand heads the Lean Management Institute, which is the German affiliate of the Lean Enterprise Institute. In his latest newsletter, on Wiegand’s Watch, he explains how he feels manufacturers should respond to the German government’s Industry 4.0 initiative.

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The Routledge Companion to Lean Management | Torbjorn Netland

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.47.28 AMThe Routledge Companion to Lean Management is now available for pre-ordering. It is a compilation of contributions from multiple authors, edited by Torbjorn Netland, and Chapter 8 is my overview of Lean Logistics. The other co-authors include Dan Jones, Jim Womack, John Shook, Jeffrey Liker, Robert Hafey, John Bicheno, Glenn Ballard, Michael Ballé, Mary Poppendieck, and many others whose work I am not familiar with.

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Excel Hell – An Insider’s Report | Chad Smith | LinkedIn Pulse

Excel Hell, from Gustave Doré print

From a Gustave Doré print

“95% of companies report that they are using spreadsheets to augment their ERP system for planning. I asked a good friend that I have known for 20 years to share his experiences with the proliferation of work-arounds and ad-hoc planning “solutions” that we tend to see in most companies that run MRP. My friend cannot specifically name the products his company makes because the market is dominated globally by only two players (he works for one of them). The sales of this company are between $100M – $500M (US) annually. Read about his experiences and let me know if you can relate.”

Sourced through LinkedIn Pulse

Michel Baudin‘s comments:

The issues listed by Chad Smith’s friend are not specific to Excel. His company’s MRP or ERP system does not meet the functional needs of the Planning Department, and its members supplement it by crunching data extracts from it on their personal systems, in their own ways. The manager does not control what formulas are used, and does not know how diligent each member is at keeping the data up do date. The planners happen to be using Excel, but these problems would not be solved if they replaced Excel with any other single-user tool: they should all work on the same data, not individually ordered extracts of inconsistent vintage, and the planning logic should be shared, not buried in private spreadsheets.

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Viswanathan Anand vs. Magnus Carlsen, 2013

How Does This All Play Out?

It is a seemingly simple question, but one that is not asked as often as it should be. It challenges managers to consider the responses of other stakeholders and think beyond immediate consequences. It checks their “bias for action,” and makes them take a pause to think farther than one move ahead.

If you outsource an item, for example, will the new supplier eventually morph into a competitor? What know-how might you lose? How will it affect employee morale? Are you putting your quality reputation at risk?  The question is an invitation to work through multiple scenarios of responses by your suppliers, your work force, and your customers, reaching into the future.

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