Emily was already in the plant. Out on the line, she tacked up a small white board. She wrote -Today’s target – 175 units. She tied the marker to a string and let it dangle.
She called a quick team huddle. “Listen up,” she said. “Instead of waiting for the QC report, I want to start tracking finished units before they leave the line.” She explained the tick marks and assigned a team member to count the marks at 10:00am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm.
I showed up during lunch. “Emily, I am glad you were in class for our discussion of control systems and feedback loops.”
“Yeah, we were going to talk about that, but all we did was talk about my morale problem.”
“Not exactly,” I replied. “Think about this. Before today, you had a dysfunctional control system. The results from the QC department were delayed by one day and the people who could fix the problem weren’t given accurate information.
“Today, you successfully converted your troublesome control system into a helpful feedback loop. The team (who can fix the problem) now gets accurate information in real time without delay.”