Do You Practice Ekoy-Akop?

Action Figure. This image is CC0!

The Lean term “ekoy-akop” can be roughly translated to “foolish process.” It is very old — so ancient that both for a modern Japanese and a Westerner it does not even sound right — and you cannot find it in modern dictionaries. Literally, it means “wrongful doing.”

Obviously, you want to avoid that, in order to prevent waste. Here are some mundane examples:

  • Putting salt and sugar into indistinguishable receptacles
  • Leaving shoes and other stuffs on the stairs so that you can fall over them
  • Having the same mobile phone like your spouse
  • Putting single socks into the drawer instead of matching the pairs directly after washing
  • Using a sharp knife as screw driver
  • Leaving dangerous medicine on the kitchen top in a househould with small children

Luckily, Lean has a concept that helps you to overcome this “wrongful doing.” It is called “poka-yoke” — have a look at wikipedia if you are curious.

Please leave some more examples for ekoy-akop in the comments. Thank you for your help.

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