Quality Progress - February 2018 - 51

someone with common sense. When
someone avoids trendy labels, you know
there is substance to this person.
Over time, we discussed various tools
and techniques we had used over the
years. Terry told me about a time he was
sent to a plant for some work. This was
his version of one learning experience
he had (names have been modified to
protect identities):
"When I arrived
at the plant, I
That is generally
was expecting to
the point of trainjoin the Toyota
ing done in the
A group with its
workplace: It is a
activity. Toyota A
building process
group is Toyota's
to create a culture
training program to
that can generate
develop a person's
new ideas. SustainTPS skills by doing
ability, innovation
joint activities with
and training are
suppliers. When
all tied together.
I reviewed the
Who would have
group's progress,
guessed?
I was confused
about why some
basic studies had not been completed.
After I questioned its approach, I
was told that this group was in the
beginning stage, and I needed to do
my own activity. I asked which area I
should concentrate on and was told
the specific plant. In other words,
'Find the answer yourself.'
From there, I started with a material
information and flowchart (MIFC). I

chose the MIFC to find the largest stagnation point (inventory built
up) because I felt that would be where I should do my activity. I had
to report out to our top assets protection specialist (and TPS) manager. I knew with the MIFC, I would be able to explain why I chose
my area and activity. After I reported my findings with the chart,
my mentor asked me to explain the purpose of the MIFC. I knew
this answer, and answered proudly that the purpose was to identify
stagnation and kaizen points. He asked again what the purpose of
MIFC was. As I looked at him confused, he said to explain it to him
the next day.
All evening, I thought about his question, and the same answer
that I told him kept coming back. Maybe I wasn't clear with my first
answer and he didn't understand what I was saying. The next day,
I went back to offer the same answer, but using different words.
Again, he said to tell him the next day what the purpose of the MIFC
was. Now I was really confused because I knew he understood what
I was explaining, but there was still something I didn't understand.
The next day, he stopped me and asked again whether I knew the
purpose. When I gave him a confused look, he said the purpose of
the MIFC was to understand whether work is easy for the operators.
This purpose causes you to think about every detail about the current situation, the idea and the target. All material moves at some
time, and someone must move it. Before that material moves, that
someone had to receive information to move it. Is all this easy for
the operators? That is the true kaizen point.
He said he understood my thinking about finding the stagnation
points, but he wanted me to think about the struggles the operators
have when those stagnation points occur. That's when we must do
kaizen to eliminate it. My mentor would always say "Think deeply,
David-san." That's why when I hear someone say that a value stream
map is the same as an MIFC, I must disagree."
I thought this was an amazing story, describing Terry's patience with
the mentoring process and Terry's mentor's patience with the teaching
process. Western society has shaped many of us to typically jump to
the "cultural difference" explanation when there's confusion or misunderstanding, but that doesn't work. Terry is from the United States, and

qualityprogress.com ❘ February 2018

QP 51


http://www.qualityprogress.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - February 2018

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Career Coach
Office Efficiency
The Crown Jewels of Design
Open Lines
Less Is More
ASQ 2018 Six Sigma Resource Guide
Standard Issues
Six Sigma Solutions
Statistics Spotlight
Marketplace
Footnotes
Try This Today
Quality Progress - February 2018 - intro
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover1
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover2
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 1
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 2
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 3
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 4
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 5
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 7
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 9
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 11
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 13
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 15
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Office Efficiency
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 17
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 18
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 19
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 20
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 21
Quality Progress - February 2018 - The Crown Jewels of Design
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 23
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 24
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 25
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 26
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 27
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 28
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 29
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Open Lines
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 31
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 32
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 33
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 34
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 35
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 36
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 37
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Less Is More
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 39
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 40
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 41
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 42
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 43
Quality Progress - February 2018 - ASQ 2018 Six Sigma Resource Guide
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 45
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 47
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 48
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 49
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Six Sigma Solutions
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 51
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 52
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 54
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 55
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 56
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 57
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 59
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 61
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 62
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 63
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Try This Today
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover3
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover4
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