Create a 5S Implementation Punch List and Show Regular Progress Towards Its Completion
One of the best things about a 5S implementation is that once you get over the initial hump, it is relatively easy to keep 5S alive. For example, once you sort out your obsolete equipment and supplies, you should not have to do those tasks again if people fulfill the expectations of their ‘new’ daily job.
First, create a single 5S punch list for the whole facility. Focus on what needs to be done this week to help move the 5S implementation effort forward. Then, review it weekly as part of your Leadership Team meeting (don’t form a 5S Implementation Team). If you track the percent complete for each action item on the action plan, you can easily keep up with the progress of your initiative. Repeat this same process with each work team.
Create a 5S Implementation Plan with Milestones that Appreciate Process Evolution
If you follow the above nine guidelines, you should see progress in a relatively short amount of time. Additionally, you should see little regression back to where you were at the start of your 5S initiative. For example, after 3-6 weeks of consistent sweeping and straightening up at the end of each day, that behavior should become a habit. Each workplace should be much cleaner. The need to emphasize and spend time on these two pieces of the 5S puzzle should be low.
Also, you will make a big effort to get rid of the excess stuff you have collected over the years. When you do, create a more effective approach to storage for your key work areas. If you reinforce this new practice daily, you should not have to worry about doing those tasks again. The key lies in teaching each team member how to apply 5S lean tools in their daily job.
Finally, I hope you can see how other operational excellence and lean six sigma approaches can benefit from the use of several of these tips as well. For example, if you change job descriptions to include a 5S emphasis, consider the inclusion of six sigma project support and process improvement tool practice as well. In short, build high performance practices, expectations, and measurements into your larger work systems.