Monday, August 06, 2007

"Cornhole" & Lean

Cornhole is big in Ohio. I spent last week in Sabina, so I know firsthand the splendor of playing this game. Some people (Blake Johnson) are natural masters of Cornhole, while others (Greg Brophy) can never quite get the beaner in the basket. Either way, it's a fun time for all.

During my time in the heartland, I also did a little bit of work. The Lean Advocate in Sabina, Dan Bashaw, showed me all around their facilities. I saw some interesting things for sure:
  • They have a daily accountability meeting every morning with the team leads and supervisors. They use a large board (pictured below) with a grid to show how many times they hit or miss their production schedules. Nobody gets beat up for the results; the board is just a measurement tool for surfacing problems day-to-day.
  • They are experimenting with a form of visual management. They have a system in place by which a two-sided sign (one side red, other side green) is placed on the front endwall of each floor. If the floor is ready to roll, the sign is green; if it's not, the sign is red. The status of all the floors on the line is shown on a visual board (pictured below) that they use to get a snapshot of the overall situation.

  • In each department, they have "idea boards" (pictured below) that are used to VISUALLY manage their employee idea process (TQI). These boards make it so easy for an associate to suggest an idea. The progression from one step to the next is visual and easy to understand.

Sabina's approach is to create a Lean management system. By creating transparency through the use of visuals, they will bring problems to the surface. By focusing on solving these problems, a culture of problem-solving will be developed. By creating a problem-solving culture, they will be in a good position to aggressively pursue Lean improvements.

Creating a Lean management system is an effective Lean strategy (as confirmed by Creating a Lean Culture by David Mann), especially when accompanied by rapid process improvement (6S, BWO, etc.). I hope to see Sabina be as aggressive with rapid process improvement as they are with improving their management system. If they can achieve this, they will be way ahead of the game.

6 comments:

hbrewer said...

Thanks for the info and pictures. We are just now getting on board with the type of visuals that I see here. This is going to help us a lot.

Hubert Brewer, Casa Grande

Mike L said...

I especially like the idea generation system using the visual boards. It's simple, it encourages continuous improvement, and allows us to get the ball rolling while we're still learning about Lean.

Greg Brophy said...

Mike, please keep my cornhole inadequacies out of future blog entries...it's rather embarrassing.

dbashaw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dbashaw said...

Hubert, we have(since that picture) changed the (production) accountability board. It now has on it a column for today's requirements and one for yard status. we have also began boards for construction and customer care.

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