We know that 5S is an important foundation in any implementation of Lean. Within 5S, there are many ways to apply its principles. In this manner, it’s helpful to see examples of visual management within the context of 5S. One example I saw recently that I found both funny and helpful was a 5S Shadow Board Example – Rasta Style.
Let’s first review really quickly the steps of 5S:
- Sort. Clearly distinguish what is necessary to do the job from what is not. Eliminate the unnecessary.
- Set in order. Put needed items in their correct place to allow for easy accessibility and retrieval.
- Shine. Keep the workplace clean and clear of clutter. This promotes safety as well as efficiency.
- Standardized cleanup. Develop an approach to maintaining a clean and orderly work environment that works.
- Sustain. Make a habit of maintaining your workplace.
5S is foundational in Lean because it allows us to visually see what is normal from abnormal. If we can do that with physical clutter, then it enables us to see much better when there’s abnormality in the performance of our processes.
A better visualization of 5S is viewing it as a cycle like this:
5S Shadow Board Rasta Style
Given our treatment of 5S, one example of 5S in action is this shadow board:
Now, if we walked by this and noticed that Bob Marley was bald, I think that would strike most of us as “there’s something wrong here”. In other words, it’s an abnormal condition that Bob Marley is bald – so, that must mean that his hair “wires and cables” are missing.
It’s a fun example of a 5S Shadow board.
And who says Lean can’t be fun?