Elements of the proven Toyota Production System were repackaged to be sold by consultancy companies as “Lean.” Properly implemented, it can be very effective. For a variety of reasons, mostly these projects fail.
You can read about the management consultancy swindle here. Although UKAS have to be careful not to offer consultancy which would conflict with their role as inspector, these scams share the similarities of offering fashionable, expensive, and often counterproductive advice.
John Seddon recounts another example of a management system becoming an obsession that is forced on others:
Back to the lean lunatics: a lean tool-head wrote a blog about how he
applying lean to family life. Get this, he wrote that he has done:
‘Standardized Work: My house rules are written with consequences for each
rule. That way it is not ambiguous. Good stands out and deviation from the
norm is clear.
6S and Standardized work: Room cleanliness standardized work is posted on
their bedroom doors. I grade their 6S status weekly. I have taught them 6Sfor Success. I have included Safety, that way they know that I will base my
decisions with safety in mind, but especially they need to make their own
decisions based on safety.
I have arranged some of the spices in the cabinet using standardized glass
bottles. Each one is labeled. Each has a place based on usage. I have
organized my garage with things in the same type of labeled bins as much as
size will allow. When my kids were younger one of them would kick off her
shoes anyplace in the house. A couple of times we were late because we had to
find her shoes. I created a shadow box for them in her room. The rule was
that her shoes had to be on her feet or in the shadow box.
7 Wastes: I have posted the Seven Wastes and the kids know to look at how we
can eliminate waste. Inventory: I have a standard stocking list for groceries
and once I consume an item it goes on the shopping list. We only minor
exceptions we only buy what is on the list. We plan our meals and buy the
ingredients for that week’s cooking.
Kanban and pull: I like this one the best. I keep gum in the car. Once apackage is used it is given to me. I then re-stock from the warehouse (a kitchen cabinet). I only keep enough in the warehouse for that week’s consumption. Once one is removed from the warehouse I put it on the shopping list. We only buy what we have consumed.’
Do you feel sorry for the kids?