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Poka Yoke in Japan

What is “Poka Yoke”? 

In Japan, “Poka Yoke” is not used by Kaizen especially in factory, but recently apply to other fields, for example: Hospital, Software Development, Maintenance, Construction, Service etc. as “Mistake Proofing”.

“Poka Yoke” is consisting of two words

  1. “Poka” means “Miss/Mistake”, “little failure”, ”incorrect-action” and “Human error” on Work/Process. In Other word of Lean Management (TPS), “Poka” is one of cause for making “Muda (waste)”.
  2. ”Yoke” means “avoiding mistake”, ” prevention against mistake” and “Proofing” by in advance.

The aim of “Poka Yoke” 

The aim of “Poka Yoke” is keeping good condition on standard without any delay & any overflow in work/Process by activity of Awareness, Tools, Working structures, Rules, and Cooperation with colleagues (Team), and also reducing defect.
To be successfull, we don’t only change the system by above Tools and action, but also we have to change culture of team, department and company.
If your Boss and colleague don’t accept your words which you find out little and something different sign from usual, no matter what great Tools and System it have,“Poka Yoke” function become no good.

The Essence of “Poka Yoke”

Meaning of the essence of “Poka Yoke” is that team, department and company culture do “Mistaking Proofing” by Tools and system.
In Japanese Kaizen, it’s often said ”Do not leave trivial and small issues alone”, “Big issue lurks behind the trivial and small issue as it is” by Genba Leader and Management Leader. Every Leader and Genba Member can say same phrase as one team.

Fig. 1: Poka Yoke is a company-wide attitude

Due to reduction population big impact about number of employee in Japan, Companies try to install “AI (Artificial Intelligence)” to above fields of “Genba” as our partner.

Jin Suzuki
Jin Suzuki
Senior Consultant I FMIC/IMIG Japan

For further information about IMIG, please either contact us via email: or call us: +49 7152/928 460. 

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