Friday, January 30, 2009

Moments in the snow.

We got buried on Wednesday the 28th. 12.5 inches of snow dropped on Indianapolis a couple days ago resulting in two days of closed schools. There was plenty of opportunities to use continuous improvement to make the big job of snow removal a little easier. Before we even started, I suggested that we take a moment to find ways to improve the process of clearing the snow...

My oldest son had a dilemma. He had to get out to the BMV to get his learner's permit for the driving part of his drivers ed class. Our street is never plowed since we live on a dead end so we didn't want to get stuck. His kaizen was to measure the height of the snow in the street and then measure each vehicles ground clearance to pick the car with the best clearance to improve the chance of getting out. As simple as this is, I praised him for his data based decision making process!

My oldest daughter had a kaizen moment as well. As all five of us were clearing the driveway, it occurred to her that our process of snow removal could have been improved. We had cleared most of the snow off our pavement when we started to clean off the two cars. She observed that since we didn't start by brushing off our vehicles, we had wasted time moving the snow twice. As I thought about what she said, I realized that she was right-we had wasted time by moving the snow needlessly. This lead to her"Top down" snow removal approach: Start at the highest point where there is snow and clear it from top to bottom. I was impressed at her observation!

Lastly, we helped four other neighbors to dig out of the snow. We had fun helping other people and our last exercise was for all of us to make snow angels before heading in for a warm beverage. Some of our improvements included shoveling between the tire tracks only, pushing instead of picking it up, and if shoveling, only moving snow the minimum height and distance needed. After returning to work, several of my co-workers complained of how sore and tired they were moving snow in their own drive. I had to chuckle...using kaizen, we helped our community, cleared our driveway, and turned this chore into a fun family memory!

What have you improved today?

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

1 comment:

powerbar8000 said...

your children are going to have issues.