Monday, March 28, 2011

.... and the place should be obvious

One of the great things about my job and about life in general is I am always learning.  While glancing through Sundays paper online looking at the cooking I noticed an article on "Managing your clutter", I took a moment out to read it and realized in 20 years of doing 5S here I was learning something new. Thanks Guardian.

From the article emphasis is mine


There are two general rules you need to absorb before you throw yourself into a major prune: everything should have its own place and the place should be obvious; any system created must be one that can be maintained. Your aim at the end of a declutter is to know where everything is. That's everything, from your last phone bill to the extra scourers.
These I know are the tenants of 5S.  My appreciation is how they are said and the emphasis given. How many 5S implementations end up as just a clearing out and cleaning up exercise, and how many more die on the vine for no good maintenance system?

The article is great and I would recommend you make a minute to read it. 

Go see II

Following up from the blog on the falling over packages the team doing the Muda walk, took the time and worked out where the packages where falling over.  The place was marked with a piece of tape and and the end of the run a better look was taken.  That better look uncovered a small piece of paper that was stuck under the conveyor line.  Paper was removed and the falling package issue 'disappeared'. Well done to the guys.

The important issue here is that we could have talked about the issue as much as we wanted away from the line, holed up in meeting room, drawing Ishikawa (fishbone) diagrams, filling out A3 problem solving sheets and allocating tasks without understanding and hence being able to solve the problem.  Very often the most important thing we can do is go out to the line and look at the problem.  Then we can ask and answer questions, is the area well maintained, is 5S up to standard, are work instructions nearby. where is the problem happening, when is the problems happening?

I love the fact that Gemba in Japanese also means the crime scene, having been the work place of the criminal and now being the work place of the detective.  For us the crime was the wastes being created (motion, transport, over processing, waiting, defect).  By being detectives and going to the Gemba the team were able to solve the crime.