The Importance of Error-Proofing

Error-Proofing, Mistake-Proofing, Poka-Yoke.  Whatever name we want to give them, they all are methods that help operators avoid mistakes in their work.  Devices and tools based on this premise have been utilized in virtually every industry to minimize / eliminate the ability of an operator to make a mistake and pass that mistake to the next step in the process – the elimination of human error.  But, just how far should we take this? Continue reading

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Before Process – Define Purpose and Value

When pursuing an improvement activity, it is absolutely critical to that one defines the process of the activity to be improved.  Whether this is an effort to reduce cycle time in an operation or the installation of a new IT system, understanding the process is essential to ensuring the improvement is successful.

However, before diving into process definition, it is even more important to take a step back from the process and first ask, “What it the purpose of this activity, and what value does it provide the customer?” Continue reading