Thursday, January 29, 2009

Applying Lean in the kitchen:World record time unloading the dishwasher

New World record time unloading our dishwasher and placing all dishes, silverware, and cups away: 1 minute and 30 seconds on 1/28/09.

It's fun to set world records. Guinness may not care but it's cool to turn work into a game which helps draw the kids into it. My youngest son and I have a two person unloading record of two minutes and forty six seconds but we should be able to smash based on what we have learned about standardized work. Here's a few lesson we learned:

  • We load our plates and bowls on the bottom rack.
  • When the dishes are clean, we can take the entire bottom rack out and set it on the counter for faster unloading.
  • Turning the silverware caddy around 180 degrees makes the unloading easier and faster.
  • Cups and large spoons are loaded in the top of the rack.
  • Placing similar cups in the same rack row makes for faster collection and stacking.

The kitchen work is getting simpler and easier because we eliminating the variability of how the dishes are loaded. The process is not perfect but it is getting better little by little. In fact, I am seeing more improvements everyday as we are moving slowly and building "kitchen consensus".

What have you improved today?

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

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