If you haven't read our article explaining what is 5S along with its benefits we recommend you read this article to get a general understanding of how lean principle 5S works. In this article, we will be breaking down the process how to get started with 5S.
Getting everyone on board
In the world of business, whenever a company tries to change the way they normally do things, you’re bound to be faced with opposition. Everybody will want to have a say on the "what", "when" and "how" of the implementation. Unfortunately, you can’t please everybody but what you can do is keep employees at all levels informed of the pending changes and generate excitement about the benefits 5S and the end results.
Promote at all levels-It is important that the managers who will be implementing 5S are informed of the change at the soonest convenience. Of course, there may be some cynics that won’t like being told that normal operations will be changed for a few months to accommodate implementation tasks. To help with this, it is recommended that a campaign is started. The campaign will walk your staff members through the process, how it will affect their normal job function, and how the results will benefit them as an employee as well as the company as a whole.
Give a real-life example- A great way to get your employees to warm up to the idea of starting a major cleaning process is to give them a real-life example of what they will be doing with this process. For example, have them implement 5S in an office or a break room. Somewhere they can get a good feel for what they will be doing when they implement the process on a full scale. This exercise should result in employees having an understanding of the process, what the end results should look like, and be able to see the tangible benefits implementing 5S will produce.
How long does it take?
As you well know, it is essential that all implementation is given an applicable timeline and flexible deadline. It can be difficult to find the balance between giving a fair amount of time for implementation and encouraging a quick implementation. Another thing to consider when making this decision is that your company will not be stopping normal operations, so be sure enough time is allocated for both jobs.
Give it some time- Choose a start and end date for the process that both gives a sense of urgency but doesn’t add unnecessary pressure that will guarantee a sloppy job or cause overtime. Unless you have a small facility, you should probably be thinking a few months and not a few weeks. As soon as a reasonable time frame is finalized it is ideal to inform your operations team so they can plan ahead and be mentally ready when the time comes.
Provide implementation guidelines- It is best to not just give them beginning and ending dates but also give time a general plan and time frame for every stage of the implementation. This is a great way to communicate the corporate vision for the implementation as well as to give your operations team some guidance. Just to be clear, these guidelines should not be enforced as mandatory regulation because your subordinates have already been left out of in the decision to implement 5S. If they are forced to do each step the way you want it done, then it could create an unnecessary “upper-lower” conflict. Your message should be more like, "This is the official end date and we came up with a guideline to help you get back to regular operations as soon as possible". By giving your employees the ability to carry the plan out, you might be surprised at how many of your guidelines they will follow on their own, and better yet have superior ideas on how to improve organization in their own workspaces.
Stay tuned for more tips and best practices for implementing 5S in the upcoming weeks.
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Source: Industry Week