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.

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:

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
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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