The humble Post-it notes have become a central part of operations here at Ozgene. They are used in our value stream maps, timeline walls, huddle boards, FMEA analyses, and also occasionally to indicate a problem with the coffee machine. Ozgene’s walls essentially resemble Post-it themed wallpaper. We have the Post-it usage down to a fine art, from colour coding to how to peel them off the notepad so that they don’t curl.
Now lets introduce someone without the extensive Post-it background, an esteemed professor (and Geelong supporter). The said professor participated in one of our Jishukens last week and peeled a Post-it off the wrong way. The professor looked at his sadly curling Post-it note next to the neat flat ones, and immediately realised something was different! He was able to find the root cause and the Jishuken continued without further Post-it incidents.
This made me think. The Post-it peeling is Ozgene’s ‘tribal knowledge’, which is passed down from person to person but never documented. This is how processes often work at a workplace. New employees are expected to blend in and start working without having specific guidelines. You may have standard operating procedures (SOP) that lie in a desk drawer or are filed in an internal wiki. Usually accessing or changing these SOP’s takes a lot of time and effort.
In Lean, standard work (work instructions in Toyota speak) means removing any uncertainty by giving the staff clear guidelines on how to do their work. These procedures have to be easily accessible while you work. Or even better, you are unable to work without accessing them. At Ozgene, this is done via Geneoz SBS (step-by-step). All work processes are recorded in a detailed step-by-step fashion, easily accessible in a custom built application. Geneoz SBS can be used on the computer or iPads, based on where and when you need them. Now we just need to create an SBS for peeling the Post-it notes…
– Frank, CEO –