Thursday, January 24, 2008

Killing Queue Time

I had an excellent opportunity to practice eliminating muda, waste, from a process recently. My son, who is two years old, was watching a movie on my laptop. Unfortunately, I left him alone for a little too long. He got tired of the movie and decided he wanted to view another one, so he pushed another DVD into the DVD player. Unfortunately he did not know he was supposed to take the DVD already in the player out first...

Of course, both DVDs got stuck. I checked with MacForum, and found that fixing the problem would take 10 days. Obviously, most of that would be queue time, so I suggested that I should get a place in the queue immediately, but not leave my computer in the repair shop until the day there were someone available to fix the problem.

That was ten days ago. This morning I left my computer at the shop. I picked it, and two DVDs, up about four hours later. I even got a new keyboard out of the deal. There was a small crack in the old one, and the shop replaced it free of charge.

By taking the simple measure of delaying leaving the computer at the repair shop, I avoided a 10 day loss in productivity. (Granted, I could have used another of my computers, or bought a new MacBook. I always have an up to date backup, so the interruption would have been a couple of hours, no more.)

It did get me to reflect on how much you can do with simple measures.

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