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  1. Provides a simple and fun exercise for a Lean Manufacturing, Mistake-proofing, TQM or Cost of Quality workshop.
  2. To drive home the message that quality cannot be inspected in.
  3. To educate participants that inspection is a form of lean waste (i.e. a non-value adding activity).


The Inspection Exercise is a simple and fun activity to drive home the concept that quality cannot be inspected in, and catching defects is very difficult and expensive. The exercise highlights that inspection is a non-value adding activity (waste) and that it is impossible to catch all defects.

The exercise can be conducted in a meeting room, classroom, workshop or any suitable space. The exercise is ideal for educating participants in a Lean Manufacturing or TQM workshop on the principles of doing things right the first time and achieving quality through prevention.

NOTE: This training package includes:
1. The Inspection Exercise training presentation (PowerPoint format)
2. The Inspection Exercise handout for participants (PowerPoint format)


1. To learn that quality cannot be inspected in
2. To learn that inspection is a non-value adding activity which can be targeted for elimination through process or quality improvement
3. To inculcate a mindset of prevention and doing things right the first time


Participants are given 1 minute to count all of the 'f's in the paragraph. The correct answer is 36. In a class of 20, usually only 1 or 2 people will come up with 36. A common problem is the word 'of' - As the paragraph is read, most people will not count the 'f' in 'of' because it has a 'vee' sound. The key takeaway from the exercise is that inspection is a poor substitute for quality and that prevention is the most effective approach to defects elimination.

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The Inspection Exercise

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File Type: PowerPoint (pptx)

File Size: 3.3 MB

Number of Slides: 18 (includes cover, transition slides)

Related Topic(s): Lean Game

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Initial upload date (first version): Mar 4, 2021
Most recent version published: Mar 4, 2021

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