Some Different Definitions

Answer Girl: Poka-yoke

Thanks to Tom for pointing this out to me. It’s a definition of the lean term “poka -yoke” written by someone who doesn’t work with lean. She has a good definition:

Any built-in method or tool that prevents operators from making mistakes.

But, click on the link for an interesting example from a famous rock band. In the example, the “root cause” isn’t error proofed, but they had an interesting way of predicting if an error was going to be made with the stage/show setup.

I also found her definition of a french cooking term, mise-en-place.

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I’ve learned this term in some cooking classes (and my favorite cooking instructor, Gwen Ashley Walters. Anyway, the term is referenced when, as a chef, you have all of your ingredients and items pre-measured and in place before you cook. It really does help organize things and prevents a frantic search for a random spice when something is already boiling over.

I love her quote from a famous chef, this could apply to a factory (or operating room) just as easily:

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The universe is in order when your station is set up the way you like it: you know where to find everything with your eyes closed, everything you need during the shift is at the ready at arm’s length, your defenses are deployed. If you let your mise-en-place run down, get dirty and disorganized, you’ll quickly find yourself spinning in place and calling for backup.”

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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