As 5S and Lean Office practitioners, one of the first questions we get asked is: “so what is 5S really all about?” People sometimes know the benefits of 5S, or they know the Five S’s themselves (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain). But the real backbone of the work often alludes people. What is it about 5S that is so much better than other systems of organization?
Essentially, 5S is the organizational piece of the larger methodology of Lean and Six-Sigma. The key purpose of 5S and a lean office is to eliminate waste, which thereby increases workplace flow and productivity. When we understand and really get behind this aspect of the process, we begin to truly see how 5S works. This is due to the myriad of available real-life examples that exemplify where waste can be eliminated. When we see waste being created, we are opening our eyes to the unproductive processes that are occurring all around us – many of which are being missed due to simple miscommunication, old habits and workarounds.
Next week we begin a series of blogs that will open your eyes to the Seven Deadly Wastes, as they are called. I will focus on examples to help paint a picture of how each waste affects the office, in the hopes that you will be able to identify where waste is occurring in your office space, and even in your home.
The Seven Deadly Wastes – which are so egregious as to be considered deadly – are as follows:
- Correction and Rework
- Unnecessary Motion
- Equipment Downtime
- Inventory and Storage
Blog Posts on Each Waste Will Be Published Throughout April and May.
Note: Many of the examples we will use come from Thomas A. Fabrizio and Don Tapping’s fabulous book “5S For the Office”. Please check it out if you would like more information on the subject. It is available for purchase here.