Following up from the blog on the falling over packages the team doing the Muda walk, took the time and worked out where the packages where falling over. The place was marked with a piece of tape and and the end of the run a better look was taken. That better look uncovered a small piece of paper that was stuck under the conveyor line. Paper was removed and the falling package issue 'disappeared'. Well done to the guys.
The important issue here is that we could have talked about the issue as much as we wanted away from the line, holed up in meeting room, drawing Ishikawa (fishbone) diagrams, filling out A3 problem solving sheets and allocating tasks without understanding and hence being able to solve the problem. Very often the most important thing we can do is go out to the line and look at the problem. Then we can ask and answer questions, is the area well maintained, is 5S up to standard, are work instructions nearby. where is the problem happening, when is the problems happening?
I love the fact that Gemba in Japanese also means the crime scene, having been the work place of the criminal and now being the work place of the detective. For us the crime was the wastes being created (motion, transport, over processing, waiting, defect). By being detectives and going to the Gemba the team were able to solve the crime.