Stockless Production from HP – a Kanban video

Some years ago when I was doing my masters degree I was shown a video called “Stockless Production” which was filmed at HP in the early 1980s. It was a brilliant illustration of Kanban, or Just In Time, or, as they liked to call it Stockless Production.

Its brilliant, the video quality is poor and the sound is even worse!

I few years later I found the video on the internet – it can be hard to track down. Although some experts exist elsewhere on YouTube I’ve never seen the whole thing there.

I often show the video as part of my work coaching and training teams. I use it either as part of a Kanban introduction or for teams already doing Agile a la Scrum to help them think about flow and quality.

Last year I paid to have subtitles added to the video. I’ve uploaded it to YouTube and in the hope that many more people can enjoy the film, have a little laugh and learn.

Many thanks to Brian Barnes at Osmium films for help with the subtitles.

A word on copyright: I’ve not made this available before because I have no idea about copyright. You can tell from the fashion (and lack of women managers) that this is at least 1981 and it is even conceivable its out of copyright.

I have made efforts to track the copyright down and failed. I believe that at some point the video – and copyright I guess – was passed from HP to Motorola University. I read somewhere that the video actually had an HP or Motorola part number. Given that the HP of this video no longer exists (it has split twice, first HP and Agilent, then HP into Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc.) and that Motorola no longer exists (and that it also split multiple times).

1 thought on “Stockless Production from HP – a Kanban video”

  1. Alexander Simpson

    I was employed by HP in June 1980 to support their new MRP11 computer software solution. When HP started to move to the’Just-in-Time’ methods i went on a round-the-world trip starting in Greeley and then visiting several other HP companies finishing up in Seattle. I then flew to Japan where I went on a visit to Toyota to see their JIT system. On my return I developed a training course to educate other companies in using these JIT methods. In 1990 HP decided to stop supporting their software and instead recommend the use of other companies MRP software systems.
    I then left HP as I did not want to transfer to a sales function and became a self-employed consultant. I developed a JIT game using children’s Sticklebricks to generate a product. The stcklebrick product could be assembled in 100 different ways due to the complex design of each brick – there were four products with two of the bricks having different colours. I became so busy that I involved ‘friends’ as associates to help me cope with the workload,
    I retired when reaching the age of 65 at which time a lot of UK production had move to China.
    I hope I can get a copy of the HP video.
    Alexander Simpson

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