Helping the Planes Run on Time: Interview with Air France’s Transformation Program Director

Helping the Planes Run on Time

This interview with Air France’s Transformation Program Director is an interesting read from Process Excellence Network contributor:  Marie-Helene Morvan.
Posted:  03/22/2016  12:00:00 AM EDT. 

Air France has a long history supporting the quality movement. I had the opportunity to represent Delta Air Lines’ In-Flight Service at the Air France’s Quality Expo in the late 1990’s. As the leader of Continuous Improvement Team XL, we talked with Air France employees about how we were improving quality in our Flight Attendant Learning & Development programs.

Link to the interview: http://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/business-transformation/articles/helping-the-planes-run-on-time-interview-with-air/

 

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Toyota’s People System

I’ve combined a couple of things in this post. The video is from a local news report of how the Toyota Production System (what most of us generically refer to as “lean”. The rest of the post was compiled by the Public Relations Department of Toyota’s Georgetown Kentucky plant. It doesn’t seem to still be on their active website, but I think it remains a great primer on how Toyota uses a superior management system to achieve superior results.
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The “Thinking” Production System:

TPS as a winning strategy for developing people in the global manufacturing environment

At the 2003 Automotive Parts System Solution Fair held in Tokyo, June 18, 2003, Teruyuki Minoura, Toyota’s  an aging director of global purchasing at the time, talked about his experiences with TPS (the Toyota Production System), and what it means for suppliers and for the future of the auto industry.

At the 2003 Automotive Parts System Solution Fair, held in Tokyo, June 18, 2003, Teruyuki Minoura, then-managing director of global purchasing, Toyota Motor Corporation, talked about his experiences with TPS (the Toyota Production System), and what it means for suppliers and for the future of the auto industry.

Teruyuki Minoura
Teruyuki Minoura

Teruyuki Minoura is confident that the long-standing principles of the Toyota Production System will not change in the future, and that TPS will be able to meet any challenge. He noted that the system originally emerged through a trial-and-error approach aimed at solving practical problems and meeting the needs of the company. Recalling painful memories of the labor dispute of 1950 that destroyed so many friendships, he observed, “Businesses suffer if efforts are devoted to raising productivity when the products themselves cannot sell.” It was through such experiences, that the basic concept of just-in-time was born.

In simplest terms, Just-in-time is “all about producing only what’s needed and transferring only what’s needed,” says Minoura. Instead of the old top-down “push” system, it represented a change to a “pull” system where workers go and fetch only what is required. Tools, including the kanban (information card), andon (display board), and poka yoke (error prevention) were developed to implement the pull system. But, Minoura warns “simply introducing kanban cards or andon boards doesn’t mean you’ve implemented the Toyota Production System, for they remain nothing more than mere tools. The new information technologies are no exception, and they should also be applied and implemented as tools.”

Early in his career, Minoura worked under Taiichi Ohno, recognized as the creator of the Toyota Production System. Ohno, through tireless trial and error, managed to put into practice a “pull” system that stopped the factory producing unnecessary items. But Minoura observes that it was only by developing this “loose collection of techniques” into a fully-fledged system, dubbed the Toyota Production System or TPS, that they were able to deploy this throughout the company.

Essence of Agile from Henrik Kniberg

I love Henrik’s agile slides. His work is quick and to the point, and visual enough to keep you interested and occasionally make you laugh.
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Gemba Walks, by Jim Womack

Walking the Gemba with Jim Womack

from the Lean Enterprise Institute’s website at lean.org

Gemba Walks is Jim Womack’s newest book, a collection of letters and essays. It is also available as an e-book from Apple, Amazon or Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and Google.

“The life of lean is experiments. All authority for any sensei flows from experiments on the gemba [the place where work takes place], not from dogmatic interpretations of sacred texts or the few degrees of separation from the founders of the movement. In short, lean is not a religion but a daily practice of conducting experiments and accumulating knowledge.”

So writes Jim Womack, who over the past 30 years has developed a method of going to visit the gemba at countless companies and keenly observing how people work together to create value. Over the past decade, he has shared his thoughts and discoveries from these visits with the Lean Community through a monthly letter. With Gemba Walks, Womack has selected and re-organized his key letters, as well as written new material providing additional context.

Gemba Walks shares his insights on topics ranging from the application of specific tools, to the role of management in sustaining lean, as well as the long-term prospects for this fundamental new way of creating value. Reading this book will reveal to readers a range of lean principles, as well as the basis for the critical lean practice of: go see, ask why, and show respect.

Womack explains:

  • why companies need fewer heroes and more farmers (who work daily to improve the processes and systems needed for perfect work and who take the time and effort to produce long-term improvement)
  • how “good” people who work in “bad” processes become as “bad” as the process itself
  • how the real practice of showing respect comes down to helping workers frame and solve their own problems
  • how the short-term gains from lean tools can be translated to enduring change from lean management.
  • how the lean manager has a “restless desire to continually rethink the organization’s problems, probe their root causes, and lead experiments to test the best currently known countermeasures”

By sharing his personal path of discovery, Womack sheds new light on the continued adoption and development of the most important new business system of the past fifty years. His journey will provide courage and inspiration for every lean practitioner today.

5S (Overview)

What is 5S?

The following article comes from  SiliconFarEast.com. (Copyright © 2003-2004 All Rights Reserved) and is a succinct description of each of each “s”.

http://www.siliconfareast.com/5S.htm


“5S” was invented in Japan, and stands for five (5) Japanese words that start with the letter ‘S’: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke.  Table 1 shows what these individual words mean. An equivalent set of five ‘S’ words in English have likewise been adopted by many, to preserve the “5S” acronym in English usage. These are: Sort, Set (in place), Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.  Some purists do not agree with these English words –

they argue that these words have lost the essence of the original 5 Japanese words.

Japanese Term English Equivalent Meaning in Japanese Context
Seiri Tidiness Throw away all rubbish and unrelated materials in the workplace
Seiton Orderliness Set everything in proper place for quick retrieval and storage
Seiso Cleanliness Clean the workplace; everyone should be a janitor
Seiketsu Standardization Standardize the way of maintaining cleanliness
Shitsuke Discipline Practice ‘Five S’ daily – make it a way of life; this also means ‘commitment’

Seiri

The first step of the “5S” process, seiri, refers to the act of throwing away all unwanted, unnecessary, and unrelated materials in the workplace.  People involved in Seiri must not feel sorry about having to throw away things. The idea is to ensure that everything left in the workplace is related to work. Even the number of necessary items in the workplace must be kept to its absolute minimum. Because of seiri, simplification of tasks, effective use of space, and careful purchase of items follow.

Seiton

Seiton, or orderliness, is all about efficiency.  This step consists of putting everything in an assigned place so that it can be accessed or retrieved quickly, as well as returned in that same place quickly.  If everyone has quick access to an item or materials, work flow becomes efficient, and the worker becomes productive.  The correct place, position, or holder for every tool, item, or material must be chosen carefully in relation to how the work will be performed and who will use them.  Every single item must be allocated its own place for safekeeping, and each location must be labeled for easy identification of what it’s for.

Seiso

Seiso, the third step in “5S”, says that ‘everyone is a janitor.’  Seiso consists of cleaning up the workplace and giving it a ‘shine’.  Cleaning must be done by everyone in the organization, from operators to managers. It would be a good idea to have every area of the workplace assigned to a person or group of persons for cleaning. No area should be left uncleaned. Everyone should see the ‘workplace’ through the eyes of a visitor – always thinking if it is clean enough to make a good impression.

Seiketsu

The fourth step of “5S”, or seiketsu, more or less translates to ‘standardized clean-up’. It consists of defining the standards by which personnel must measure and maintain ‘cleanliness’.  Seiketsu encompasses both personal and environmental cleanliness. Personnel must therefore practice ‘seiketsu’ starting with their personal tidiness. Visual management is an important ingredient of seiketsu.  Color-coding and standardized coloration of surroundings are used for easier visual identification of anomalies in the surroundings. Personnel are trained to detect abnormalities using their five senses and to correct such abnormalities immediately.

Shitsuke

The last step of “5S”, Shitsuke, means ‘Discipline.’ It denotes commitment to maintain orderliness and to practice the first 4 S as a way of life.  The emphasis of shitsuke is elimination of bad habits and constant practice of good ones.  Once true shitsuke is achieved, personnel voluntarily observe cleanliness and orderliness at all times, without having to be reminded by management.

Source: Copyright © 2003-2004 SiliconFarEast.com. All Rights Reserved.

http://www.siliconfareast.com/5S.htm