Quality Progress - February 2018 - 19

(quadrant C), organization becomes
more challenging. A good model for
this type of work is a hospital ER.
There, demand is entirely unpredictable on a minute-to-minute basis,
and a variety of equipment may be
needed at any given time. ERs cope
with this challenge by creating prepackaged kits and carts to support
various medical situations. A well-organized storage system providing
pre-sterilized kits, along with an
array of general purpose instruments
and tools, allows the ER personnel
to respond quickly and efficiently to
whatever patient situation comes
their way.³

Most challenging area

The nonrepetitive information space
(quadrant D) is perhaps the most
challenging area for applying 5S. This
area covers a wide range of knowledge-based, creative and managerial
workers who have far less-structured
task lists and often much more freedom to prioritize their own work. In
their workspaces, information flows
in via phone, email, paper, information systems and conversations, and
all of this information somehow must
be converted into actionable work
that is prioritized and executed. The
phenomenon of the desk piled with
paper and the email inbox with 1,000
unread messages is commonplace
in these workspaces. Here, the 5S
method must provide a means of
dealing with this flood of information.
Fortunately, multiple tools already
exist that align with the needs
of the 5S words. These tools are
designed for time and information
management-precisely the needs
of the workspaces in this quadrant.
Among these tools are the "Getting
Things Done" method,⁴ "Zen to
Done,"⁵ "Total Relaxed Organization,"
"Master Your Now," "Lean Kanban"
and "Getting Results the Agile Way."

FIGURE 2

Information processing workflow
"Stuff"

Inbox(es)

Actionable?

Yes
Do

(< 2 min)

Delegate

(Waiting for)

Defer

No

Trash
File for
reference
Someday/
maybe

(Action lists)

While each tool has specific features of interest, they all share a common goal of organizing information flow for maximum effectiveness.
In this context, what do the 5S words represent?
1. Sort involves quickly assessing whether a particular information item
is needed and disposing of it as soon as that is clear.
2. Set in order is a key element and requires assessing the needed
information items and determining what type of action (if any) is
required.
3. Shine is about minimizing your mess-for example, unsubscribing
from mailing lists. It also can refer to minimizing the mess for others
by limiting the distribution of emails and meeting invitations.
4. Standardize is a tricky one. The organization benefits from a standard approach to information management, but creative workers
need the flexibility to adopt the standard approach using tools that
work for them.
5. Sustain requires a maintenance and audit process to ensure that the
organizational process continues to function and does not start to
accumulate waste material.

Creating a workflow

Implementing 5S for knowledge workers begins with selecting a standard method for information management. The method must be:
+ Sufficiently comprehensive to address a wide range of people and
tasks.
+ Flexible enough for individuals to adapt it to their preferred tools and
work methods.
+ Easy enough to require minimal upkeep.
Figure 2 shows one such method in the form of an information
processing workflow based on concepts from "Getting Things Done"
and "Zen to Done." In this workflow, the first step is collection. In most
cases, this process is automatic and hands-off, and occurs as information flows into email inboxes, physical inboxes and information system
workflows.
It does require conscious effort, however, to collect information when
it comes in from verbal or other informal channels. After information is

qualityprogress.com ❘ February 2018

QP 19


http://www.qualityprogress.com

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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