Learn about one software development team’s struggle to improve collaboration and how they sought to shorten cycle time by carefully crafting an experiment with an Andon Cord. The Andon Cord is a Toyota innovation designed to empower front-line employees to recognize issues, initiate a stoppage of work, and work together as a team to quickly identify a path forward. The emergency cable strung above assembly lines became a symbol of the Toyota Way, and has widely been copied throughout the auto industry and beyond. This presentation will introduce metrics that show a surprising correlation between collaboration through Andon Cord pulls and Cycle Time.
An Andon system is one of the principal elements of the Jidoka quality control method pioneered by Toyota as part of the Toyota Production System and therefore now part of the lean production approach. It gives workers the ability, and moreover the empowerment, to stop production when a defect is found, and immediately call for assistance. Common reasons for manual activation of the Andon are part shortage, defect created or found, tool malfunction, or the existence of a safety problem. Work is stopped until a solution has been found. The alerts may be logged to a database so that they can be studied as part of a continual improvement process.
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