Can we use an Andon Cord in programming?

November 24th, 2020

In Book: Toyota kata then mention the use of the Andon Cord.

When they notice a quality problem, or a deviation off from the process standards, they pull it.

This then halts the entire manufacturing line, and signals others to come.

Then then swarm the problem in group, doing root cause analysis.

They learn and improve the process, that is the goal.


It's also mentioned that this cord is pulled about 1000 times per shift.

And when that number went down to 700, the plant manager called that a problem.

Because they were learning 30% less than before!

So he demanded they increase the bar for something to be called a problem, until they are back to 1000.

(Quote: less andon cord pulls means less learning)


Since reading that, I have been wondering:

  • What type of learning could we do?

  • Which problems can we swarm?

  • How can we raise the bar to increase problems?


Opinion: Stop wasting a perfectly good bug!

Opinion: todo - doing - done is too limited