Long-time readers might remember this post of mine from February 2007:
Please check out that post. It's a classic example of what I shortly thereafter started (in March 2007) calling “L.A.M.E.” or Lean As Misguidedly Explained.
In that post, I shared a picture from the UK news article that typifies “Bad 5s” (and I've now added a label to the photo that hopefully makes that clear to anyone who might use the image).
I've used that picture as a punchline in many presentations. That perhaps superficially LOOKS like 5S (tape has been used to mark locations of things)… but look at all of the tape that's been wasted in this case and similar circumstances.
How in the world does it help to mark where your keyboard goes? It doesn't. Has a corded keyboard ever gotten lost or gone missing? Would it affect a person's productivity to move it a bit?
What problem is solved by putting down tape marking the mouse location? None. The tape probably INTERFERES with the use of the mouse, ironically.
This is classic bad 5S… a tool chasing the wrong problem. It's not helping the organization perform better. In fact, I guarantee you that employees who are antagonized by top-down bullying 5S will perform worse because they're cheesed off. It's the type of thing I also blogged about here (the 5S cop) and made a video about.
Don't be L.A.M.E.
Don't do bad 5S to people.
Instead, solve problems that really matter to customers, employees, and the organization.
I was watching a recorded webinar the other day from a non-profit that will remain unnamed. It was a webinar about a “Lean Six Sigma” certification class they are going to be teaching (for healthcare).
One slide included the “bad 5S” picture without any commentary (nothing was said about the picture as the presenter talked about what you'll learn in their class) — I've hidden the organization's name and logo:
If your Lean instructors don't know the difference between helpful 5S and bad 5S, then….
How did the instructor find the image? I don't know, but if you do a Google Image search for “5S lean,” that picture currently shows up as one of the first results without too much scrolling. I wish I had added the “This is Bad 5S” text to the picture long ago.
I hope the instructor knows the difference between good 5S and bad 5S. Maybe she was just lazy and did a quick Google search for an image without thinking about it or understanding what she saw.
I hope somebody teaching 5S and Lean for healthcare would have her own examples.
I hope people who want training and education can find experienced people to teach them. Otherwise, I'm afraid we'll end up with more L.A.M.E. in healthcare, when we need Lean.
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