标准作业还是改善?孰重!

I encountered a familiar paradox a couple of times this month. You can think of it as a twist on Art Smalley’s Four Types of Problems model. Or you can think of it as a never ending search for balance.
这个月我几次遇到一个熟悉的似是而非说法,你也可把它想象成如Art Smalley的4种问题模式般的纠结(孰先孰后?),或者你也可以把它想象成一个无止境地寻求其间的平衡。

At an old-line manufacturing operation in the US Midwest: “We need to break through our constant firefighting and aim for major innovation.” Meanwhile, just one huddle board over, “We’re not ready for improvement, we can’t even maintain the standards we have today.”
在一个美国中西部传统的制造业者认为:「我们需从不断的救火中脱身,并寻求重大的创新。」而同时,面对种种阻碍又发觉「我们尚未准备好改善,我们甚至无法维持我们既有的标准。」

At a large American hospital: “We have so many problems and, worse, we don’t even have clear standards. We need basic stability before we can think of improvement.” Meanwhile, just one huddle board over, “We need to solve some very big problems at the system level before we even bother with the little things.”
一个大型美国医院认为:「我们有许多问题,更糟的是我们甚至没有明确的标准。在思考能做什么改善之前,我们需要基本的稳定。」同样的,在面对种种阻碍时也发觉,「在我们伤脑筋于小事之前,我们需要先解决一下系统上的大问题。」

Where do these different views come from? Partly, it’s a matter of starting point – what you see tends to depend on where you sit. But, don’t forget to add a healthy dose of personal predilection. Many lean folks LOVE to quote over and over (and over) the Taiichi Ohno observation (Henry Ford said it, too, and no doubt many others) that “there is no kaizen without standards.”
这些不同的看法是来自于何方?有一部分是从哪里开始的问题,根据你的所在,看到不同的趋势。但是别忘了加上一些自己的偏好。许多精益中人喜欢大野耐一一直重复着的观察(亨利 福特与其他许多人也都说过),「没有标准,即无法改善!」

It is less noted but equally true that “there is no maintenance of standards without kaizen.” (There is no steady state. Anywhere, ever. You are either progressing or declining. Get used to it. For more on this, click here to see my 2009 series of posts about standardized work.)
一样正确,但却少被注意的是「若无改善,即无法维持标准。」(任何地方、任何时候都没有稳定的状态,你得习惯于要不是在进步,就是在退步。你可在2009年的连结中找到我更多的论。2009 series of posts about standardized work.)

The fact is that you want both, and you can’t have much of one without a roughly equal dose of the other. But, the timing of emphasizing one (maintaining standards) versus the other (improvement or kaizen) typically varies greatly over time. And, over time, while you’d like to see them appearing in equal dosages, most of the time one will be outweighing the other. It’s like a teeter-totter. With a kid on each side, bouncing each other up and down. Then they get the idea to try to balance each other. They can do it if they’re roughly the same size. If not, they can adjust by scooting themselves up or down their side of the teeter totter. But, it takes some finagling. And before long, one of them will break formation and they’ll teeter again.
事实上,你想要两者,你无法得到一方多些,却不得不得到相同的另一方。但是要强调的是一方(维持标准)或另一方(改进或改善)的时机却有很大的差异。长期来说,你会看到两者似乎是一样的重要,但大部分的时间里,他们的比重并不一样。它就像一个跷跷板,小孩分据两边,彼此上下弹跳。他们想要试着让跷跷板获得平衡,如果他们的体重相近,则容易做到。如果不是这样,他们可以调整他们在跷跷板上的位置,但这需要一些技术。不久,其中一人可能又会破坏平衡,他们又开始上下弹跳了。

This is true even at Toyota. When Toyota brought its production and management systems to North America, the emphasis of kaizen versus standardized work varied substantially between NUMMI, which came first, and the plants in Kentucky and Ontario. It varied with the problem that needed solving. At NUMMI, the workforce was a grizzled assemblage of ex-GM or Ford UAW members. These folks had habits, formed from many years of working in the old Detroit Three system. Engineers would design the work, workers would try to do the work as designed, whether the design was good or not. When it wasn’t designed well the workers would come up with workarounds of one sort or other. Sometimes the workaround was a good improvement (kaizen, even), other times it was just a patch. A way to get through the day without hurting yourself, or without the discrepancy from the process design intent (if there really was one) being discovered by a supervisor or quality inspector. As a result, the steps being performed out on the plant floor were a cacophony – far from the ideal harmonious symphony – of work procedures that resulted in the poor quality (and poor productivity) that US automakers were famous for at the time. Workers weren’t asked for their ideas or contributions and workers didn’t offer them. Just do your job. Make it look like it’s the job as designed by engineering. And do it over and over, all day every day, year after year.
即使在丰田,当丰田向北美导入其生产与管理系统时也是这样,它对首先的NUMMI,与其后的肯塔基Kentucky与安大略Ontario,对改善与标准作业的强调有相当大的不同。那是因为他们要解决的问题不同。在NUMMI其劳动力是高龄的前通用或福特的工会会员。他们有其惯性,僵化于长期在底特律三大系统中的工作方式。工程师会设计工作方法,不论这方法好或不好,作业者就试着照着所设计的方法去工作。如果工作设计得不好,作业者就会想办法权变一下。有时候权变是好的改进(或改善),但有时候它却只是应付性的补缀,只要这方法过得了今天,不要受伤就好,或者不要与其原来的期待有所偏差(如果真有这样的方法),而不会被班长或质量检查员发现就好了。结果在现场的作业步骤充斥着不协调,作业节奏根本不和谐,导致当时美国汽车制造商闻名的质量不良(与低落的生产力)。作业者不会被征求意见或是被要求协助,当然作业者也不会提出。只要把你的工作作好就好了。大家就装着是照着工程部门所设计的方法工作。整天的重复着、每天、每年。

So, entering into that environment at the former GM Fremont plant, Toyota stressed the importance of kaizen, both the term and the fact of it. If you see a problem or opportunity, take action (NOW!) to make a change. Don’t sweat too much over the change, don’t chase tons of data and get stuck in analysis paralysis (no overwrought ROI calculation, please), just try and adjust.
所以当丰田进入NUMMI,前通用费利蒙工厂时,强调改善的字义与内涵的重要性。那就是,当你看到问题或机会时,立刻(不迟疑地!就是现在!)采取行动来改变。别想一次做太多的改变,别想得到太多数据而陷入分析瘫痪(请别过度沈溺于投资报酬率的计算),尽管去试验与调整。

“So, what is your starting place? Are you stuck in stability, the effort of striving for a stable condition that never comes? Or are you making random change for the sake of change that leads to problems repeating over and over?”
因此,什么是你的起点?你是深陷于稳定的迷思之中,努力于永远无法达成的稳定状况吗?或者你只是为改变而做些凌乱的改善,导致问题不断地重复出现。

I recall, very early on, a fierce argument breaking out between some workers and engineers. “It’s all about kaizen and continuous improvement,” said one. “No, don’t fix it if it ain’t broke!” argued the other. To the surprise (at that time, early 1984, none of us knew what to expect as TPS was introduced on a large scale for the first time to an American workforce) of a Japanese Toyota manager I was close to, the stances taken by the protagonists was the opposite of what he expected. It was the worker who was all for “continuous improvement” and the engineer who didn’t want to “fix it if it ain’t broke.”
我回想起很早期(在1984年初,我们不知道对于首次如此大规模的对美国劳动力导入丰田生产方式,应有什么期待!),在某些作业者与工程师之间,曾发生过的激烈争论。有人说:「得进行改善与持续改进」。另一个人认为:「不!若没坏掉,就不必修理」。我所熟悉的日本丰田课长对这对话的主角的预料完全相反。作业者想要「持续改进」,而工程师却不想「修它,除非它坏掉了」。

In that environment, overall, the experienced UAW workers knew how to perform a job to the engineering specs as provided them. What was needed, and had been missing when GM ran the place, was a kaizen mindset amongst everyone – workers, supervisors, and engineers alike. That was the problem we had chosen to solve.
当时的状况,是有经验的UAW作业者知道如何达成被要求的工程规格。需要什么?但当通用营运这工厂时,却错过了!应该是在每个人—作业者、班长、与工程师-心中都有的改善企图,这是当时被我们选择要解决的问题。

In Kentucky, on the other hand, the workforce was a diverse assemblage of individuals from a wild variety of work environments. From school teachers to grocery store cashiers, most had never worked in the auto industry. So the first order of business was to get everyone up to speed learning the fundamentals of performing a factory job. With these conditions, simply performing the work to a basic standard was already a stretch goal, and an absolutely critical one.
但另一方面在肯塔基,劳动力是由来自于各种不同工作环境的人所组成。从学校老师到杂货店的收银员,大部分的人都不曾在汽车产业工作过。所以最急迫的问题,是让每个人都能快速地学习如何执行工厂工作的基本事项。在此状况下,光是要他们能够根据基本的标准执行工作,都是一个有难度的目标,但也是非常重要的目标。

That’s why, to this day, if you encounter an ex-NUMMI employee and then an ex-Kentucky or Ontario employee, you’ll likely hear a different nuance in their language, and you may notice an associated mindset, regarding standardized work and kaizen. The gap is one that is easily bridged on the surface, usually by invoking the aforementioned adage of Mr. Ohno’s – “without standards, there is no kaizen” – an invocation that usually works well enough.
这就是为什么直到今天,当你遇到前NUMMI员工或前肯塔基或是安大略的员工时,你会听到他们言谈中微细的差异,同时你会注意到这反映在他们对标准作业与改善的心态。其间的差异可以很容易地在表面予以连结,只要提起大野先生所说的:「没有标准,即无法改善。」经常就能说得通了。

But, in fact, the difference in nuance derives from a different starting place which does indeed matter. The difference in spirit of “don’t overanalyze, just try” versus “first gather baseline data and develop your hypothesis to test against” is easy to ignore or trivialize. So, what is your starting place? Are you stuck in stability, the effort of striving for a stable condition that never comes? Or are you making random change for the sake of change that leads to problems repeating over and over? Back to the teeter totter. Don’t expect perfect balance. Even as that balance is precisely what you strive for. I hope that doesn’t sounds too “zen,” but I think that is indeed the spirit that helps keep us on the road to continuous improvement without end. Specific steps and approaches depend on your starting place versus your desired end goals (back to the Lean Transformation Framework and Art Smalley’s Four Types of Problems). Balance: don’t expect to achieve it, but don’t stop striving for it.
但是事实上,言谈中细微的差异源自于很重要的不同的起点。「别过度分析,就去试吧!」与「首先取得基本数据,作出假设再去试验。」的差别常被忽略或低估。因此,什么是你的起点?你是身陷于稳定的迷思之中,努力于永远无法达成的稳定状况吗?或者你只是为改变而做些凌乱的改善,导致问题不断地重复出现。让我们再回到跷跷板。别期待完美的平衡。即使你努力于精确地平衡。我希望这不会听起来有点像是禅学,但我想的确是这样的精神,帮助我们维持在无止境的持续改善正道上。所需的步骤与方法得视你的起点与你想达到的目标(回归精益转型框架与Art Smalley的Four Types of Problems)。平衡:别认为你做得到,但也别停止追求。

by John Y. Shook
李兆华 译
December 12, 2018
https://www.lean.org/LeanPost/Posting.cfm?LeanPostId=986

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