Standardization, Simplicity and Supervisors
Well said, Anonymous, could not agree with you more.
"For JI you are correct that Toyota does not use much "high" technology but when I toured the place w/ Mike Hoseus I saw a little training area where each work station had a laptop w/ a video and work instructions in place to teach basic skills like using an air gun. I understand they have 3000 such videos standardized across the organization. Technology has its place but should be used with wisdom."
Why doesn't standardization exist? Your airgun example is a good one. In some organizations, the choice of tools is up to the person doing the job. So, what purpose would a video serve in this situation? More problems would arise out of the use of the video of an unaccepted standard. Angst, grumbling, distrust, contempt, safety, etc., would result from the passive aggressive (sometimes just aggressive) behavior people have towards those imposing standards on them. The same problems would appear if we were talking about materials, machines and methods.
Many organizations have engineers and supervisors who will make the decision about standardization. A common problem here is that these people do not understand the job to begin with, so their choices regarding stability and standardization are faulty, compounding the problem above.
But does your supervisor have the capability to do so? This is what the three J-skills aim to provide. A simple way to get at the problem of standardization.
The only way to counter chaos in the workplace is to throw oneself into the improvement cycle - ultimately, it is the only way. And if you have non-standardized methods, tools, and workplace practices - JI is a great place to start - DON'T start with videos of non-standardized things.