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GM Does Teach Kaizen in the Standard Work Class

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Detroit Free Press Forums

In my previous post, I questioned if GM was teaching true “Standard Work” to reporters who came to their training center in Lansing. My cynicism may have gotten the best of me, as it seemed, from the article, that GM was teaching the reporters than Standard Work meant “do as you're told.”

I posted a comment on the Free Press article and got the response I linked to above:

I have been through that class at GM. You do get a chance to re-write the process. You basically start with the proposed process and build mini-vehicles like that for a while. Then you go back and discuss any possible changes, make the changes and then go back to building them again (trying to be number produces and quality). Its common sense, but that ain't common anymore.

At GM first line supervisors better know the process. With the absenteeism of the UAW many supervisors actually spend time on the line or making parts.

I stand corrected, at least as far as the class goes. I hope that the spirit of Kaizen is carried through into the factories and shopfloors.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. 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 book is an anthology 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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