What Work Place Organisation ISN’T …

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Shadow boards, seen them before right? Usually after a 5S or 5C exercise.

I come across them often and they usually exist in one of two states. Either like the one above, the tools all nicely in place and where they should be. Or the other state. The sad and sorry looking board with maybe one out of the five tools that should be there in place.

So what is going on? A shadow board is simple right? Well, let’s have a look at what the problems might be.

Typically – or should I say it is now so engrained – traditionally, we apply the steps of 5C in order.

  1. Clear Out
  2. Configure
  3. Clean and Check
  4. Conform
  5. Custom and Practice.

What’s wrong with that? Well what I have learnt is that unless we get number 4 sorted right from the outset the steps 1, 2 and 3 will fall over.

Step 4 requires long term commitment to an organised workplace to ensuring that change is not ‘flavour of the month’ or being carried out as a ‘tick box exercise’. If the management team don’t demonstrate commitment, then why should the rest of the team?

Oh and that photo at the top of the page, how come all of those tools are in place? It turns out that they are never used………

Work place organisation programmes are a cornerstone to a Lean Transformation. They take time, commitment and effort. They aren’t a tidy up/housekeeping exercise. They are a critical component in building your Operating System.


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