Jaguar adds colour to Yamazumi your life

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Jaguar Castle Bromwich is awash with pretty-coloured bar charts that, on a recent visit, caught the colour-craving part of my brain.

Being constantly awed by production engineers whenever I meet them, I asked JLR’s lean manufacturing guru Ken Close what they were.

‘Yamazumi boards’, he explained.

They derive from the Toyota Production System. Essentially, they’re a vertical column describing a manufacturing process, subdivided up into its constituent parts.

It’s then colour-coded: bits that have to be done but don’t add value are orange, blockages and delays are red, and value-added sections are green. They are simple, visual means of immediately showing where delays are coming from.

(The image is blank in this post, for courtesy’s sake).

Jaguar uses them because they can be displayed around the factory for workers to immediately see what’s working well and what isn’t. Following the Pareto Principal, they can then focus on the 20 percent of problem areas that are causing 80 percent of the gripes.

Yamazumi, which means ‘to stack up’, has helped Jaguar ‘Kaizen’ production, said Close. Suitably enthused, I came away determined to research more. And, what did I find?

Keen advice on Yamazumi-ing your life! Today, therefore, I begin doing just that. More in a few weeks…

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