What is knows as ‘the 20 Keys of Kobayashi’ in the Western world, is called PPORF in Japan.
’20 Keys’ is quite same system as PPORF and these are created by Iwao Kobayashi who is a Chairman of PDI (PPORF Development Institute Inc.) in Japan.
Mr. Kobayashi developed a very pragmatic way to improve a (manufacturing) company by Japanese management concepts.
He describes 20 ‘Keys’ that are crucial to develop a world class company.
The keys cover 5S, quick changeover, scheduling, reducing inventory, maintenance, skill building activities, eliminating waste, value analysis, empowering workers, quality, developing supplier, etc. Each key is further divided into five levels from novice to “world class” status.
The Seiko Watch Company set up a consulting company with Mr. Kobayashi to teach the 20 Keys to all of their suppliers and other companies in Japan.
The 20 keys are:
|Key 1: Cleaning and Organizing
Key 2: Rationalizing the System/MBOs
Key 3: Improvement Team Activities
Key 4: Reducing Inventory
(Shortening Lead Times)
Key 5: Quick Changeover Technology
Key 6: Manufacturing Value Analysis
Key 7: Zero Monitor Manufacturing
Key 8: Coupled Manufacturing
Key 9: Maintaining Equipment
Key 10: Time Control and Commitment
Key 11: Quality Assurance System
Key 12: Developing Your Suppliers
Key 13: Eliminating Waste (Treasure Map)
Key 14: Empowering Workers to Make Improvements
Key 15: Skill Versatility and Cross Training
Key 16: Production Scheduling
Key 17: Efficiency Control
Key 18: Using Information Systems
Key 19: Conserving Energy and Materials
Key 20: Leading Technology and Site Technology
Looking carefully to the keys, you might discover some overlap like ‘getting 100% efficiency – waste elimination – reduction in change over’; one being a part of the other. Remember: this is not a MODEL but a pragmatic approach, a roadmap if you like, based on years of experience.
Mr Kobayashi over the years found out: This is what needs to be done over and over again, if you do those things, you will approve.
This pragmatic approach also has a disadvantage: you will have to ‘translate’ some keys when not applied to manufacturing facilities (i.e. healthcare, or other services).
A very important learning from mr. Kobayashi’s approach is to keep as much as possible balance between the development of the keys; mr. Kobayashi states we should not develop óne key without keeping track of the others. Here we see an example of the ‘harmony model’ that is too often forgotten in our attempts to move quick – which actually slows us down and frustrates us…
You will recognize –parts of– those 20 keys (maybe in another form) in many other improvement programs; however here it is quite clear what needs to be achieved to reach a certain level. And so one can monitor whether all keys are developed harmoniously!
Even if you are ‘into Lean’ or ‘into Six Sigma’ it would be still a great help to use the 20 Keys!