We discuss 5S constantly here at Clarity, it’s such an important part of any Lean programme and a huge passion of ours. No doubt you’re already familiar with 5S and its benefits, but take a moment to consider the all-important, final part of 5S, sustaining the programme for benefits long into the future! Read on to find out more…
It is a fair guess that if you are reading this, you already know a lot about 5S… its benefits, its power to save time and resources, the huge difference it can make to the overall efficiency in a workplace and the powerful impact on staff morale, not to mention the potential pitfalls to implementing a successful 5S scheme (… if not we will gladly help you with this) … but is it really working for you? If not, the answer may be very simple …
Firstly a quick refresher on the principles of 5S … 5S consists of 5 steps … four sequential stages which must be carried out in order, and then a fifth stage, ‘Shitsuke’ or Sustain, which involves maintaining all that has been achieved in the first four stages, as follows:
Remove all the unneeded items from the work area. Be drastic! An effective 5S system depends on an uncluttered working environment.
Organise the essential items that remain after stage 1 in such a way that they are easy to find and easy to access, and, importantly, so that it is obvious at a glance which items are missing.
Sometimes also known as ‘Sweep’, simply means keeping the workplace clean and tidy on a daily business. You will be surprised what a positive effect this has on staff morale and on health and safety!
This stage involves integrating the three stages above into one organised system of best practice. It involves identifying the best practice for every step and producing a standard procedure for each task.
Simply, sustaining all of the above so that the workplace does not slip back into its former state, and so that the benefits continue and develop.
Surely one would expect that the fifth stage would be the easiest after the hard work and detail of stages one to four? Why is it then that our clients repeatedly tell us that Shitsuke is the most difficult stage of them all and ask for advice and ideas for merely keeping on doing what has already been done?
It’s a culture thing! The fact is that it involves discipline and commitment to implement a change of behaviour and to do this successfully and sustainably, often one must change the culture of the workplace, and we can’t pretend that that’s easy to do. However, we can tell you two highly positive things about it:
However, there are some key factors which must be taken into account to make your Visual Management effective… we’re talking about things like keeping it focused, keeping it standardised, ensuring it is dynamic and able to be changed quickly, that the information is able to be read ‘at a glance’, and many other prime requisites of successful Visual Management.
Clarity Visual Management publishes a simple 8 Tips Guide which will help you start to implement visual management, or will serve as a handy checklist if you are already on the journey. We would also welcome the opportunity to speak to you in more detail about setting up a powerful, engaging visual management scheme or refining an existing one for better employee engagement. Please contact us to chat with an advisor about how we can help you best.
Here at Clarity Visual Management, we consult with clients both far and wide about how they can use visual management to achieve their goals, exceed their targets and make financial savings which would otherwise be lost to waste. We work with our clients to create a bespoke strategy that ensures visual management is set up for success before providing specific, high-quality Lean products to sustain the visual management programme and make Lean work in the organisation long-term.
You can read more about the work we’ve undertaken with our clients by browsing through our Visual Management Case Studies.
Download our ‘Introduction to Clarity Visual Management’ if you’re unfamiliar with Clarity and want to learn a little more about our products and services.
Get in touch and speak with a Visual Management Specialist to answer any questions you may have on our products, consultancy or business.
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