By Al Norval in Lean Pathways Article
“There’s an old adage about wisdom that says “A wise man knows when to break the rules”. This wisdom comes from years of experience and is learned slowly over time through solving countless problems.
Bureaucrats on the other hand hide behind rules and blindly enforce them no matter how silly they are and how bad the consequences are. After all, the rules need to be followed. We’ve all had experiences with steely eyed bureaucrats enforcing ridiculous rules. …
In Lean we equate rules with standards. We teach people that standards are there to be followed. Not blindly like bureaucrats but followed and if we can’t follow them, then pull the andon and raise the problem. By raising the problem we give ourselves a chance to problem solve and eliminate the root cause from happening again. In Lean, standards are there to tell us when we can’t follow the standard. They are there to help us identify problems.
Standards then become the basis for all improvement and as Taiichi Ohno said “Without Standards, there can be no improvement””