Experiencing Obeya In Our Way

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Few years back I was working in a leather goods manufacturing company. I started a working as a Lean officer and got the opportunity to experience implementation of many lean tools practically.

Back in 2016 I was introduced with the concept “Obeya”. Back then we were trying our best to get the finest results from different lean tools implemented in the shopfloor but due to insufficient communication between different departments and lack of proper coordination we were not getting expected outcomes.

As a solution Obeya was proposed by our consultants. We took the concept of “Obeya” and modified it according to our need. We named the room as “Lean Room”.

As a first step we placed a big visual board, where the status of different Lean tools in all manufacturing cells were visualized by color coding. We used colored magnets to visualize the status.

We were having Gemba meeting on daily basis but for every critical issue we were discussing in our “Lean Room”. Every PDCA documents were hang on the wall and once it was successful, PDCA documents were shifted to the archive of the Lean Room.

Before introducing any Lean tools in the production floor, all concern person from different departments would come to the Lean Room, discuss, argue and find the best way to implement it. Sometimes the discussion would go for several days.

We were having our Kaizen archive in the room. We accumulated documents for each and every single kaizen and put some of the very good one in the wall of the room. We had a collection of around 100 books regarding manufacturing concepts and tools in the room.

We used to do audits on different Lean tools and topics in different interval (daily, weekly, monthly) and all the audit documents, scores were visualized in the room.

We had visuals for Efficiency, Kaizen, Quick changeover, Overall 5S status, and so on.

This Lean Room had a huge impact on our work, after establishing it the engagement among people was increased, new and effective ideas were coming out. 

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    1. Thanks Bart.
      I would love to share images of “Lean Room”, but sorry to say I’m no longer a part of that company and i don’t think i can share it right away.