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What is 5S?

5S is the five steps program for housekeeping and workplace organization. Standard work, waste elimination, and 5S are the foundation of the common-sense improvements approach. 5S stands for five words that together make this cleaning and organization methodology. The steps are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. Together, they promote stability and improvements in the business processes.

In the first step, Sort you go through all the materials, tools, and equipment on the area sorting between necessary and unnecessary items. You will keep only those items that you need to do your job. Also, you keep only the amount you need. During this step, red tags are used to unneeded items to identify them. This is part of the Red Tag Campaign. The rule of thumb is When in doubt, move it out.

During the Set in Order step, you will assign a location for the needed items. Have closer to you those things that you use very often. Think about what I need? Where I need it? How many? Consider to create a central location for shareable items, this will reduce excess inventory. The motto for this step is A place for everything and everything in its place!

Shine is to clean everything inside and out. Inspect for broken pieces, wear and tear, and leaks while cleaning. Make sure that your findings are corrected as soon as possible. Think about ways to minimize reoccurrence. Ask yourself: What to clean? How to clean it? Who is responsible? Set the cleaning standard, how clean is clean. Develop temporary checklists, cleaning responsibilities, and schedules. 5S is not spring cleaning, Make inspect and clean part of your daily routine.

Standardize the preceding three steps. Set clear expectations to make 5S the everyday standard for your workplace. This is the time to revise the temporary signs, maximum number, checklists, schedules, and others. Do you need to change anything? Make sure that the standard is correct before making it official. To avoid falling back to the initial state, Follow the standards daily, success is a habit, not an act.

Sustain is a never-ending step. You want to make sure that all four previous steps are followed every day. Develop a 5S mentality by promoting 5S daily, recognizing success, and correcting out of the standard situations. Create and enforce a 5S training for new team members. The motto for 5S is Cleaning and organizing is a practice, not a project. Make 5S part of your daily routine.

Some of the benefits of 5S are obtaining a clean, sanitary, and pleasant work environment, remove safety hazards and improving employee morale and motivation. 5S also creates a great first impression for customers and visitors. Start using 5S as part of your improvement program today!

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Are your processes consistent?

Do you get the same results out of a process always? If you do, then the process is stable, but if you don’t, then you need to stabilize it. How do you do that? 5S and visual management are the foundation for processes consistency.

5S stands for five words that together make this cleaning and organization methodology. The steps are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. By making 5S part of the daily routine, the workplace is clean and organized all the time. If somebody is not following the standard, and causing inconsistencies in the results, it is easier to see and correct.

A standard is what is supposed to happen. If your process does not have a standard, you need to create one. There are no improvements without standards, they are the baseline for comparison. In a visual workplace, the out-of-standard situation is easy to recognize, and employees can easily correct it.

When we fail to achieve the expected results, it is because the process fails. To have consistent results, we need to follow the standard. To improve the results, we have to improve the process. In my next post, I will discuss 5S in detail.

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What is process mapping?

An effective way to analyze a process is by drawing a process map. Process maps document a business process from beginning to end to identify areas of opportunity. There are different types of maps, each with a different purpose, scope, and level of detail.

The right map to use depends on what you want to do. Take a look at the different types:

  • Value Stream Map (VSM) is a high-level tool used by leadership for strategic planning. It represents the flow of material and information through the value stream. The flow goes from customer request to product or service delivery. The goal is to identify waste within and between processes.
  • Process Flow Chart (PFC) presents the sequence of events to complete a single process in chronological order. This basic flow chart is a simple map of the inputs and outputs of the process. The purpose of this map is to document a process, analyze and manage workflows. PFC is a low-level chart used with the participation of supervisors and process owners.
  • Process Map or Swim Lane shows how the process ownership flows from one owner to another. This flow chart highlights how a process flows across company boundaries. It is useful to identify the key roles responsible for the process and how they relate to each other. Swim lane for short-term tactical planning. A cross-functional team of process owners gets together to draw this map. 

Process maps are good tools to visualize the current state and design the future state with better processes and customer satisfaction. It is important to include the right stakeholders in the discussion and the creation of the map. Have the right people will improve the quality of information and team communication and performance.These process maps are good tools to improve processes and customer satisfaction. Including the right stakeholders for the discussion and creation of the map is important. This will improve the quality of information and team communication and performance.

Now that you know the different types of maps, you can choose the right one for your needs. Are you ready to start mapping?