Wait, now automate

Did your organization deployed rapid automation recently?

If yes,

  1. Did your organization contemplated seriously on impacts of the new automation on internal systems, external systems, suppliers and customers?
  2. Does the new automated system eliminate 7 kinds of waste?
  3. Does the new automated system add value to customer?

If your answer to point 1, 2 or 3 is negative then probably you rushed to automate rapidly that may produce an undesirable outcome to organization’s good intention to automate.

Toyota takes really long time to accommodate any kind of IT solution into their system. Principle 8 of Toyota Production system states to use only reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and process across boundaries.

At Toyota new technology is introduced only after it is proven out through direct experimentation with involvement of a broad cross-section of people. Toyota will go to great lengths to analyze the impact it may have on existing processes. (The Toyota Way – Jeffrey K . Liker)

Nowadays, majority of IT solutions are implemented with direct proposed solution without any defined metrics, cost-benefit analysis, impact on customers/systems/suppliers, impact on cross functional department, value addition and so on.

Points to remember before we automate:

1.      Establish manual process with the help of Lean, Six Sigma, TOC or any other proven improvement methodologies.

2.      See if the new automated system will add value to existing process, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders and remove waste from the process.

3.     Analyze the impact of new system that affects processes, customers, suppliers, systems and stakeholders

4.     Perform cost-benefit, impact and risk analysis.

These are just few tips but the organization must go to greater lengths and spend a great amount of time to decide implementation of new systems.

Decision making at Toyota imply strenuous planning for 10 months and then implementation in installments such as with pilot production and be fully implemented at the end of the year with virtually no remaining problems – Alex warren.

Let’s not rush to develop or buy the newest technology or application before you thoroughly test it and prove that this new technology will cater to all respected needs.