As a Quality professional, I am always interested in how “Quality” is handled in the Toyota Production System. A “Quality model” that Toyota uses is “Ji Kotei Kanketsu” or JKK. “Ji” in Japanese means “self”, “kotei” means “process” and “kanketsu” means “completion”. Putting all the words together, JKK means “Completion of your own work”. JKK has also been translated as “taking pride in what you are doing”, “not passing defects along to the next process”, or “next process is your customer”. The idea that the next process is your customer was something that Kaoru Ishikawa, the Japanese Quality Master, talked about a lot as part of the Total Quality Control movement.
JKK was initiated by Toyota as a means to increase employee awareness about quality. Every process after your process depends on your level of quality. They are all your customers. The concept of JKK is present in all facets of Toyota. JKK starts with the Engineering group through the product design and specifications – the best possible design. This is followed by Purchasing – ensuring quality components from suppliers. This is then followed by Production – maintaining and controlling the standardized work. Finally, Sales and Marketing – early detection and resolution of any potential problems. The model below is taken from the Toyota website.
Toyota describes the EDER (Early Detection, Early Resolution) program as follows;
EDER is a communication system for quickly detecting quality issues, immediately resolving issues, and swiftly providing results of rectification and kaizen feedback to customers.
Toyota teaches JKK as part of kaizen, continuous improvement. By focusing on your process and looking at the weak points in the process, you are identifying areas for improvement. JKK is practiced by the following four steps;
- First, clarify target and objective of task
- Clarify detailed procedure of task
- Clarify Ryohin jyoken (quality points)
- Immediately contact your supervisor, if a problem and/or delay may occur (pull Andon) and repeat Kaizen.
The Big Picture:
There is a counterintuitive aspect to JKK. By focusing on your own operation, you are required to focus on the next process – to ensure that the next process is successful. Thus, JKK is instilling a big picture mindset – a system approach in the employees.
The concept of Jidoka, is embedded in JKK. The ability to stop the line to fix the problem is the basis of building in quality. JKK is ensuring Quality Assurance in everybody’s work. Quality is defined as meeting customer’s requirements. Thus, customer satisfaction is the outcome of quality. In this regard, every Quality professional can be viewed as a customer service personnel.
I will finish off with an anecdote from the late founder of Matsushita Electric Industries, Konosuke Matsushita.
Matsushita was having a conversation with a western executive, and the discussion led to customers and treating customers like kings.
“No, that is wrong”, Matsushita said. “The customer is a god. Because, a king is a human, and thus capable of making mistakes. But a god does not make mistakes!”
Source: The Shift to JIT, Ichiro Majima.
Always keep on learning…
In case you missed it, my last post was Giving Time for Kaizen to Work.