"It's a bit of understatement" to say that we "didn't have our act together" several months ago when started manufacturing the espresso machine we'd been designing for the past 3.5 years.
If this photo is a bit underwhelming, that's good! This was just an ordinary day, and it took us 5.5 days to make this batch of 20 machines.
Just a month ago it was still taking us 2 days to make 1 machine.
I spent an hour myself checking about half the machines in detail for mistakes I've seen in the past and didn't find anything. We'll find out tomorrow if the 9 machines shaken tonight are all ready-to-go, or if we still have hard-to-spot mistakes creeping in in our process.
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Two weeks ago I switched our conceptual metaphor to be that of a kitchen. Every day, everyone knows what to do when they walk in the door. No meetings necessary. We complete a batch of machines every 5 days and then start again. The only thing that changes is that (hopefully) this kitchen gets faster and able to feed more people every day. For now, I'm not applying much pressure, because the emphasis is on zero-defects. Once we start achieving that, we'll gently crank up the speed.