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Posts Tagged ‘flexibility’


Wednesday, November 17th, 2010
Written By: Paul Steven – KCTS Lean Consultant

Can Shine within 5 S bring a team together?

As written in previous blogs, 5S forms a foundation for improving your environment. If you need to improve your reliability or reduce the costs of your processes or even increase the capacity within your work place, you should consider using 5S.

The first S, SORT, allows you to select the things needed to complete your work which improves standardisation as only agreed tools, jigs and machines can be used. As Taiichi Ohno, father of TPS, says “Where there is no Standard there can be no Kaizen”, so we must try to get standards in place before trying to improve.

The second S, SET IN ORDER, ensures that you have a place for everything you kept from Sort and that you make it the correct place by thinking about how often you use it. Spaghetti Diagrams and Process Mapping can take Set In Order into the detail where you get quantifiable benefits by creating flow.

The third S, SHINE, will be my focus during this blog. Many explanations of 5S start from a position of single ownership. These explanations work logically on bringing pride and ownership into the work place, which is also true of shared spaces used by teams. When you apply Shine to your work station, in your factory or in your office, you begin to own the cleanliness of your area and set the level of “Shine” to where you find it acceptable.

But, how do you align your ownership with the others in your team when you all share an area. If you work at a specific machine or work centre, or have a desk within an office, you can own your cleanliness standards because it is your own area. Once that specific machine or work centre or that desk is shared across shifts or through flexibility within your business shared with colleagues as a hot desk, that ownership of Shine standards becomes more complex.

So, what can you do to get simple Shine standards? If you start with your standard for handing the area over to another person after use then progress can be made quickly to set Shine standards for Handover. These Handover standards are the best place for you to start building a common Shine standard. You may maintain your own Shine standards during your time within your shared area but if you agree a Handover standard with the other people in your team then you must reset to these Handover standards each time you leave.

Most importantly you should agree that every team member has the power to challenge each other to keep the Handover standards. Do this and success is around the corner for you and your colleagues. In the spirit of continuous improvement, kaizen, the most sustainable to grow commitment is to demonstrate success everyday. You must commit to your Handover standard before challenging others. Once successfully keeping the Handover standard, you will be able to think how to achieve that Handover standard throughout the day so that it can become a Shine Standard. Perhaps starting twice per day then once an hour and so on until it is attained naturally throughout the day. Once the standard is consistent across all the team, any improvement of the Shine standard has a better chance of being sustained.

Have you agreed your Handover Standards for your area? If not, I suggest you start today and if you don’t need a handover standard then I hope your Shine standards are ready for further improvement.



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