5 S’s: Lean for one! (Part 2)
A good starting point for your personal Lean process is a tool called the 5Ss. This tool is a rough guide for looking at the things you do and reducing them to an absolute minimum.
The 5Ss are:
Sort – Group, classify and organize elements of your work and personal life and process. I recommend the use of David Allen’s Getting Things Done method for this process.
Scrub – Cleaning up your workspace and maintaining a clear area will allow you to more readily focus on the activity you are working on. It will reduce distractions and allow your effort to be targeted entirely on the task at hand.
Straighten – Organize the remaining things that still belong. Hopefully you have been sufficiently ruthless in your Sort as to significantly reduce the amount of stuff you have to straighten.
Standardise – Standardisation is a key element in efficiency. By following a set pattern of activity, you will become familiar and more effective at your tasks. Not everything should be standardised as it can reduce creativity and become somewhat dull. You need to make a choice as to where you want efficiency and where you want interest.
Sustain – Having achieved a level of increased efficiency and enhanced the effectiveness of your Value Stream, that effort shouldn’t be wasted. By sustaining and repeating a standard pattern of behaviour for a few days/weeks it will become a habit and you will reach a level of unconscious competence. It will require discipline but is worth the effort.
This tool will hopefully bring significant rewards in efficiency and effectiveness in a fairly short time.
Dare to Aspire
NB. Lean philosophy suggests that individual activities are undertaken at specific standardised workstations, however, this I believe is overkill for Lean for one.