Football season is back in a 2020 sort of way with real players and crowd sound effects, so here is Lean Peeve #2, a post to celebrate. Student Body Right is a play popularized in college football in in the 1960’s in which the ball carrier ran toward the right end of his offensive line as every other player also pulled right in front of him to block. To the untrained eye it just looked like the entire team just ran to the right, hence its name. But, to the trained eye, this was a carefully choreographed play where every player had a specific, timed assignment. Click this link to see it in action – kind of like standardized work, the best use of resources to do the job. Football is a brutal sport, but it’s the science that makes the play effective, not the brute force.
On the other hand, in business, something charading as Student Body Right appears to the untrained eye to be productive, while in fact it is not. Take, for example, that end of month push in manufacturing when an army of employees are marshaled to a production area to meet a month-end bogie. While the sheer numbers may appear effective, “throwing bodies” at the task is marginally more productive at best and is more likely to end in employee injuries or part defects. Or consider a stock trading company where all investments must be posted same day. By day’s end, the entire company is crowded into one department to finish the posting. Guess when most mistakes happen? Dealing with unevenness (Mura) creates craziness and stress (Muri) more like this play: For a laugh, click this link. No science, just brute force. Do you know the name of this play?
So, how do you run your offense? With science or brute force?
P.S. As I look forward to our annual Northeast Lean Conference, coming virtually to a compute near you on October 7-8, I am especially excited to hear our day one closing keynote Professor John Carrier discuss 7 Key Control Concepts To Drive Your Digital Transformation. In the race to implement new manufacturing technologies and systems, such as the Industrial Internet of Things, it is often forgotten that factories and operations already have systems in place—and the inner workings of these systems tend to actively resist any change forced upon them. John will share ideas to help manufacturing executives and frontline leaders implement technological change at their companies while developing a company culture that puts people first. Read more and register your team today here.