Here is a decent lean overview, which includes a visit by John Shook to some New Zealand companies.
One quote strikes me:
The first step at both factories was to tidy up the workplace. Mr O’Halloran says one of the biggest causes of wasted time is searching for what you need to do a job.
Keep that in mind when you are working on 5S. As it implies above, the goal of 5S isn’t just to be “clean” and “tidy.” Rather, the goal of 5S is to eliminate waste and to make problems immediately apparent.
At a previous job of mine, some people thought 5S meant you had to label everything. Putting a sticker/label on a PC monitor that says “monitor” was pure waste. Everyone knew it was a monitor. It’s not that they were labeling the location of said monitor, they were identifying it as such. The operators thought it was silly, so we started peeling up the wasteful labels.
Another tip – if your operators think something is silly (such as labeling “phone”, “printer”, etc.), they might be onto something.
That was a “lightbulb” moment for me when I realized that some misguided 5S practices could be “muda” in and of itself. If the tape outline you’re putting around something or the label you’re putting on something doesn’t help reduce waste, then that activity itself is probably waste.
Have a good lean day.
About LeanBlog.org: Mark Graban is a consultant, author, and speaker in the “lean healthcare” methodology. Mark is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. Mark is also the VP of Customer Success for the technology company KaiNexus. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.