The Old Man With a Hammer
A large ship engine failed. The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.
Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a young. He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work. He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.
Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do. After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer. He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!
A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.
“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”
So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer…………………………$ 2.00
Knowing where to tap…………………………..$ 9,998.00


If you’re trying to improve your processes, like the old man you got to know where to “Tap.” Effort is important, but knowing where to apply the effort makes all the difference!

I’ve worked with many managers that had extensive knowledge and experience however were poor at knowing where and when to focus in order to make the biggest impact for improvement.  They just didn’t know where to “Tap” !

At our Lean Six Sigma Training classes you learn the methods, tools and techniques of process improvement as well as where and when to use them for maximum impact.‎..knowing where to Tap!