Poka Yoke – What’s it All About?

Poka Yoke is a method of reducing or eliminating the number of mistakes in any kind of process. Most of us practice some form of mistake proofing. We are assigned a task and adapt the process to get the best results. The more often we perform that task, the better we get at, through repetition, improved tools, materials, and/or training.

Poka Yoke was conceptualized by Shingeo Shingo, an engineer for Toyota. Mr. Shingo knew that even with extensive experience and training, humans would produce errors. By focusing on the process and revising machinery and systems, errors could be significantly reduced.

Poka Yoke happens all around us. Many of the machines and equipment we use on a daily basis have been “mistake proofed.” This infographic shows a few things that we easily recognize. Each of them has been designed or refined to remove the possibility of user error. Removing errors for some is a matter of safety. For others, it protects the machine. For all of them, by making them mistake proof, we save time and are more effective. These are all big payoffs and good examples and reasons why businesses should pay more attention to mistake proofing.

poka yoke infographic

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