5S your mess to increase productivity

Last Thursday over 25 King County employees spent their lunch hour learning about the #Lean 5S method: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.


Click here to open and print a .pdf of this lean 5S

Our Lean Specialist, Kara Cuzzetto, led this training and covered the Seven Wastes plus in-depth coverage on information waste. This brought up some great discussion regarding physical mess vs. virtual mess, and how  5S can be applied to both.

How to get started

  1. Sort: Separate necessary from unnecessary and get your team to establish criteria by which to sort. Remove unnecessary items from your work area. Move from ‘Just-in-case’ to ‘Just-in-time’.
  2. Set in order: Your team should agree on where things should be placed to ensure accessibility for everyone. Try to eliminate the bending, reaching, and searching for items. Virtually, use metadata where possible and look for incomplete or hidden information.
  3. Shine: Document the frequency of cleaning, as well as who is responsible. Build in inspection based on documented sort and set in order team decisions. you should be able to visually see that things are where they should be.
  4. Standardize: Create a standard agreement that allows for accountability. Use visual guides to show what the work space should look like and document team decisions and use those to audit the area.
  5. Sustain: Do the work to maintain standards through training, empowerment, commitment, and discipline. Team members should hold each other accountable to agreed upon standards. Leaders should preform periodic audits to prevent back slide.

-Terra Milles

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