The One Man Kaizen

Technology changed the idea of the one man band.  The concept that one person could play all of the instruments in a song simultaneously was mostly notably remembered in Mary Poppins as Dick Van Dyke’s character plays drums, horns, and an accordion all by himself while dancing.

Mike Oldfield is credited as the first performer who plays every instrument on a recorded song one at a time, and then mixes them together in a multitrack studio in his 1973 recording of Tubular Bells.  It has now become commonplace with not only individuals performing the tracks and then mixing them, but entire bands doing the same.

Is there an opportunity then for a one man kaizen?  Can technology help us mix our track of ideas together into a social event where we never actually have to be in the same room.

Imaging the possibility

Suppose an operator was suffering a frequent paper jam on a cup forming machine. So much so, that it was causing a 22% reduction in output as the jams all had to be unjammed and the machine cleaned out of product and started again.  And the problem was not just isolated to the single machine. Many operators in the same line of cup forming machines were having the same problem.  Traditionally we might see this as an opportunity to pull the right people in the room and have a kaizen event.

But with social distancing making that impossible, what can we do?

Could the operator use a cell phone to record the process when it is running well, even in slow motion if needed.  Then when the jam occurs, again record the process to unjam and take pictures of what happened.

Could the video and pictures then be sent to a designated team in a group e-mail. Maybe a SharePoint site is set up to share pictures, ideas, and data.

Could an experiment be designed and the operator try the experiment and send video of the results.

Could the whole plan, do, check, act cycle of a traditional kaizen be carried out with help of video, facetime, group chats, and conference calls.  And once we all can get back together won’t that be a great skill to have!!

Help you organization think outside the box and use technology to build a one man kaizen. (it even rhymes.)

Brian Mansure

Brian Mansure

Speak Your Mind