5S

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5S is the First Step – Always?

By | April 19th, 2016|Categories: Kaizen, Lean Learning|Tags: , , , |

I have seen it presented and stated many times that 5S is the first step in lean. For many, that will ring as a true statement in both a theoretical and a practical sense. I am also willing to bet that in most, if not all cases, that initial effort was not sustained over the long [...]

How to react when you find something out of place in 5S

By | January 28th, 2012|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , |

Sustaining 5S is the hardest part. The average life of a 5S program is 1 year, and sustainability is the reason. So what behaviors should you exhibit to make it work? Finding something out of place in the 5S’d area is not a sign that the system is broken. In fact, it’s a sign that it is working. It worked because you noticed it. You’ll never keep everything in place all the time. Unless it’s a serious violation, my first reaction to something is just to move it back where it belongs. Many people might disagree with that, because it’s an opportunity for coaching. But if you literally grab every opportunity to coach that you find, you’ll never leave the one area. Correcting it is the behavior you’d want from those in the area, so if the system tells you what to do, then just do it. That’s role modeling the behavior you want to see in others. If it is not straightforward, then ask an operator in the area what is the item, or where it belongs, or why it’s not in the right place. They are the ones who will best know. If needed, coaching can be provided. If it becomes a pattern, then it needs to be brought up with the supervisor in the area so that they can coach as well as hold accountable. […]