Poka Yoke (Japanese for “mistake-proofing”) is the toolbox to avoid defective products or services by avoiding mistakes. You probably remember Murphy’s Law “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. Accordingly, the goal of Poka Yoke is to avoid something that can go wrong in the first place: It prevents incorrect user operations by designing behavior-shaping constraints into processes and/or products. There are three main Poka Yoke Methods: The Contact Method, the Sequence Method, and the Constant Number Method.

Poka Yoke is a powerful tool to:

  • Reduce production cost: Avoiding mistakes results in less rework and scrap which means reduced effort and cost
  • Improve output stability: Reducing defects leads to reduced output variability, thereby increasing output stability
  • Increase product value: Customers appreciate flawless and user-friendly products that can hardly be used the wrong way
  • Improve safety: Many accidents are caused by mistakes. Preventing mistakes will make your processes and products safer

Step by Step:

  1. Map the process and understand where the mistake occurs
  2. Analyze the potential root causes for the mistake
  3. Find a suitable Poka Yoke solution

Practitioner’s Tip:
How many of your Corrective and Preventive Actions (CAPAs) include the action “training of people”? All of them show that there is a need for a Poka Yoke solution. So, challenge your CAPAs!

Learn more about this topic in our Poka Yoke Online Course (Demo currently not available for Internet Explorer).

Synonyms:
Mistake-Proofing
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