5S Standards in the Genba
If you had to tell me what the top priorities for an airline are...what would you say? Safety, of course. But that isn't my observation for today...
What about ontime? Given this highly valued measure of operational performance you would expect time to be of high priority in an airport, right?
So there I was, not quite awake, waiting for my plane this morning. It was 5:30 a.m.
Or was it? I had glanced at my watch at the coffee stand about 5 minutes ago and it was 5:30 ...seemed lik an eternity ago. What gives?!
I glanced at my watch for a double check...5:40. I'm too tired to be this confused...
O.k., triple check: I glance at another airport clock across the terminal...
Aggh! It's 5:50! Should I be boarding now? My flight leaves at 6:00! Was there a gate change? Why is everyone sitting around! I'm awake! I'm awake!
I did a triple check on my trusty Blackberry, a.k.a. Ol' Reliable. It was a 5:40 a.m. Pretty scary that a passenger's time is more accurate than the airports. I could relax for the time being.
I almost laughed out loud when I saw this passenger setting his watch to the airport time. If he could just turn around and look over his shoulder!
And so it goes in the factory. If information is said to be crucial, sacred, value added, or whatever management speak you would like to characterize it as...then it should be treated that way. What sort of message does this send to passengers?
When we ask people who work on the shop floor to become empowered, we need to support them in that by designing and maintaining good systems. Tens of thousands of little decisions are made in the genba everyday. How many of them are clear and easy to understand?