Everyday Lean: Aluminum Foil


snopes.com: Aluminum Foil Locking Tabs

Here's an interesting example of “Everyday Lean” that I never knew about. Have you ever been frustrated by pulling on a roll of aluminum foil (or plastic wrap) and having the roll pop out of the container?

The boxes for these are actually designed with a little method for keeping the roll in the box – a physical method is more effective than “being careful.”

Click on the link above for some further explanation and a few photos. It's not rocket science – that's why I love this example. This is designed into the product, but we can use this to think about opportunities to error proof our processes – at work, not just in our kitchens at home.

Does saying “be careful” really work? If this were a workplace and the roll popping out of the box were a serious problem, would we post signs, cautions, and exhortations for our employees, or would we error proof it?

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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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