Lean Diaper Changing
This isn’t from first-hand experience, believe me. Here’s a post that linked to me from the blog that’s tracking a baby who was born just two weeks ago. Dad is a Six Sigma black belt, but it sounds like he’s getting into Lean and applying it to the baby.
I love how Dad has done his best to define “value” in the baby’s terms:
Sean is our customer. What’s valuable to him is a clean diaper change as fast as possible. As we organize the changing table and process, it should all be designed to deliver that clean diaper efficiently. Change Sean when he needs to be changed. Keep trying to do it better.
My first attempts were clumsy, at best, as I figured out the process. Undress, open diaper, cover Sean with a cloth, apply baby wipe, apply clean diaper, re-dress, calm screaming infant. It took a few tries to learn that:
- Sean really only complains when he is getting undressed. Try to minimize the amount of time that he is undressed, i.e. arrange all materials before undressing him
- Sometimes the cold air has an effect on him – cover him with a cloth to prevent an unpleasant accident.
- Those baby wipes are cold! Heat them up, will ya? (Best $23 we’ve spent so far)
- Get that diaper closed properly (one blow-out brought this error to my attention)
Without getting out the stopwatch, I think we’re down to about 60 seconds for the whole process. Take that NASCAR pit crew (another excellent example of Lean).
A nice example of Everyday Lean! He’s practicing “external setup” by having everything prepped (5S-ed even?) before undressing the baby.