Modify Procedures and Work Instructions to Keep 5S Changes Alive
If you want everyone to adhere to the “A place for everything and everything in its place” philosophy, you had better rewrite your procedures. Include steps that describe how to put things back where they belong. Make sure that clear, easy to use procedures exist for waste, obsolete product, or supply disposal. After all, don’t our work instructions define what others expect from us at work each day?
EXPLORE MORE: Workplace Safety Best Practices
Build 5S Expectations Into Your Monthly High Performance Work Practices Walk-Through
Sure, you can do a special 5S walk-through each month just like you do the monthly safety inspection. However, you will make a much better time investment if you include 5S expectations as part of a monthly high-performance practices walk through assessment tool. For example, in addition to looking for consistency of 5S practices, also look for consistency in the use of other practices. Such practices include visual performance posts, safe work practices, proper changeovers, and six sigma project support. Ask questions to help gauge general staff awareness of high-performance concepts as you move through the work area.
Include 5S Recognition in Your Regular Employee Recognition Efforts
One positive thing you can do is recognize each team monthly that meets or exceeds the minimum score on the high-performance work practices walk through. Avoid the tendency to give out a “Cleanest Workplace of the Month” or a “Most Organized Department” award. Don’t punish those groups who end up on the bottom half of the list. You only have so many recognition dollars to spend in your budget. Use them to recognize team success against a broad set of high-performance work practice criteria.
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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.
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Keep improving!! Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer, Great Systems
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