We know that a Poka-Yoke approach is a much more effective approach to preventing mistakes and errors. But, sometimes, we see the approach of providing a “do not” sign only, which by itself, is not effective. But, coupled with a process or system that prevents the human from making mistakes or the error from being made, then that’s a great balance to warning the person as well as preventing the person from making the mistake in the first place.
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So, what does this article have to do with skateboarding? Read on.
I took my kids to a park last week and I noticed the park benches had these metal plates in the middle of them. At first look, I thought that was awkward. Then, I realized that those metal plates were there to prevent skateboarders from rail sliding across the park bench and ruining the edges of the bench. In other words, if a skateboarder tried to rail slide, his or her skateboard would end up getting destroyed – and, nobody wants their beloved skateboard ruined.
Are the metal plates more effective than a mere “No Skateboarding” sign? Yeah, I think so. This is a practical example of Poka-Yoke: it’s a method that prevents the defect from happening in the first place.