Over 60 years ago a British historian and author created Parkinson’s Law that states "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". The more tuned in I am to recognizing waste the more I also recognize this problem on farms I visit every day. A
Waste is inevitable. Every process contains some of the 8 wastes and it is our job to root them out.
Without a proper expectation of the time and process necessary to complete a job waste is hard to identify.
Knowing the time a job takes forces us to take a look at the obstacles that prevent us from finishing the task in a timely manner. Once a time is established for a job we can track improvements.
Using a standard process allows us to make changes that reduce waste which cannot be done when every employee does a job differently. These improvements will show up as better safety, reduced time, and increased profitability.
The corollary to Parkinson’s Law is “work contracts to fit in the time we give it”. Do yourself a favor today and identify one task on the farm to first set an expectation of time to complete, train everyone on the process, and set out to improve. It will be the beginning of an amazing journey called Lean.