One of the tools used in LEAN is the concept of 5S. It helps to address the many opportunities where you can create an organized, efficient, cleaner workplace that has clear work processes and standards. As you read through the brief description below, consider how you can use these principles to improve not only your company but also your personal life and approach to your career.
SORT . . . Sort through items in your work area with the objective to reduce what remains down to just the things you need. Couldn't we also do that with the activities, and things we possibly over commit to, and begin to eliminate some of the things in our lives that are just causing clutter?
SHINE . . . This is pretty self-explanatory, as it simply means to clean and shine your work space. It suggests eliminating all forms of contamination that could negatively affect the work environment. Where do you and I need to clean and shine in our lives? What contaminants do we need to remove and make sure they don't return?
SET IN ORDER . . . Simply evaluate and improve the efficiency of your current workflow. When time is devoted to examining our everyday routine there are always things we can do to improve our productivity and workflow. We could also improve the flow of our lives by improving the way we get out of bed in the morning, adjust the morning routine to create a positive mindset for the day, and set in order the things that are most important to our success and the success of those around us.
STANDARDIZE . . . Make certain that everyone in the organization is communicated with on the correct procedures and the improvements made by the sort, shine, and set-in-order steps above. Communication is an important part of standardizing a process of work or a positive change in our lives. Even if that communication only takes place in the form of our "self- talk" as it changes from, "I just can't find time to exercise" to "I am getting more organized and have dedicated time to physical fitness and feeling better." In doing this we have created a tremendous standard for ourselves.
SUSTAIN . . . Proper training, visual and posted goals, management commitment, organized workspace, and developing the proper habits will all keep a positive change going in the workplace.
Dwell on those things for a moment. Wouldn't you say that training, goals, commitment, being organized, and good habits are also the characteristics of most successful people? What can we begin doing right now, today, that will sustain something great going on in our life?
Of course we just scratched the surface with the LEAN concepts above. They go so much deeper and have incredible application in manufacturing, business and life. If you'd like to learn more or refresh your memory on 5S, click below to download the first lesson of the 5S Pod in the Working Smarter Training Challenge.