Quality Progress - February 2018 - 16

F E AT U R E

LEAN

Office
Efficiency
Managing information flow in a virtual
workspace with 5S |  by Scott Marchand Davis

Just the
Facts
The 5S lean
method is often
used in manufacturing, but it can
be adapted for
office settings to
make information
workflows more
efficient.
Specifically, better organization
and management
of information
flow allows knowledge workers
to make better
decisions about
prioritizing and
executing tasks.
In turn, implementing 5S helps
knowledge workers focus better
on tasks, lowers
their stress and
improves their
throughput.

16 QP

5S is a proven tool on the factory floor. Indeed, some lean practitioners view it as a necessary first step before moving on to more sophisticated lean methods.¹
By organizing and standardizing workspaces, 5S eliminates wasted motion and time
associated with missing tools or materials, poor maintenance controls and confusion when
moving from one workstation to another.
In an office environment, however, the same tools that work well for a factory workstation can seem ludicrous. Labeling each tool required at an assembly station and eliminating
unnecessary equipment makes a lot of sense. Extending the same methods to the CFO's
desk by taping off a square for the phone, monitor, keyboard and mouse, and ensuring that
he or she has only a kanban-appropriate two pens is likely to produce some resistance.

The start of 5S

5S originated as a part of the Toyota Production System (TPS), with the five S-words originally being Japanese: seirei, seitori, seiso, shitsuke and seiketsu. When translated to English
(and preserving the 5S structure), the five key phrases are:
1. Sort-For the factory floor, sort is usually the first step and involves removing unneeded
tools and materials from the workspace.
2. Set in order-After the space contains only what is needed, set in order provides a
known and visible location for each item.
3. Shine-This refers to the cleanliness and housekeeping of the area, and an ongoing effort
to remove sources of mess and disorder. If the floor is constantly dirty, shine doesn't just

February 2018 ❘ qualityprogress.com


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Quality Progress - February 2018

Seen and Heard
Expert Answers
Progress Report
Mr. Pareto Head
Career Coach
Office Efficiency
The Crown Jewels of Design
Open Lines
Less Is More
ASQ 2018 Six Sigma Resource Guide
Standard Issues
Six Sigma Solutions
Statistics Spotlight
Marketplace
Footnotes
Try This Today
Quality Progress - February 2018 - intro
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover1
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover2
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 1
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 2
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 3
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 4
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 5
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Seen and Heard
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 7
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Expert Answers
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 9
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Progress Report
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 11
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Mr. Pareto Head
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 13
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Career Coach
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 15
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Office Efficiency
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 17
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 18
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 19
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 20
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 21
Quality Progress - February 2018 - The Crown Jewels of Design
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 23
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 24
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 25
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 26
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 27
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 28
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 29
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Open Lines
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 31
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 32
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 33
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 34
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 35
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 36
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 37
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Less Is More
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 39
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 40
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 41
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 42
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 43
Quality Progress - February 2018 - ASQ 2018 Six Sigma Resource Guide
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 45
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Standard Issues
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 47
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 48
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 49
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Six Sigma Solutions
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 51
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 52
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Statistics Spotlight
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 54
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 55
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 56
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 57
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Marketplace
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 59
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Footnotes
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 61
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 62
Quality Progress - February 2018 - 63
Quality Progress - February 2018 - Try This Today
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover3
Quality Progress - February 2018 - cover4
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