Quality Progress - February 2018 - 21

any other 5S system, the information
management system requires mainteEach project is also
nance. This maintenance occurs on a
checked to ensure that
daily and weekly basis. Each day, the
there is an open action
item or upcoming meet- calendar for the day is reviewed and
any tasks needed for that day moved
ing to keep the project
to a "today" task list. The open task list
moving forward.
also is reviewed in case any tasks were
completed and not removed from the
list (which happens more often than you would expect).
In addition to this daily review, a more comprehensive review assesses
the whole system on a weekly basis. This includes reviewing the "waiting
for" list to ensure that the current status of all delegated tasks is known,
as well as comparing tasks to projects and repositories. For example,
the email folder for open tasks is compared (via tags) to the list of tasks
known to have email items, and the two lists synchronized.
Each project is also checked to ensure that there is an open action
item or upcoming meeting to keep the project moving forward. If there
isn't, a task should be generated. The calendar is reviewed back a week
and forward two weeks to see whether any tasks must be added, and a
short brainstorming process also reveals forgotten items.
Finally, the "someday/maybe" list is reviewed to see whether items on
that list should be activated as tasks or projects, or whether they should
be deleted because they are no longer relevant. This critical review
process helps minimize the risk of an important activity going unnoticed
or unaddressed.
Executed properly, this method provides substantial improvement in
throughput for knowledge workers by minimizing multitasking and the
sense of feeling overwhelmed that comes with a barrage of incoming
requests. Placing trust in the 5S system to maintain the backlog of tasks
helps the worker focus on the immediate task at hand and minimize
distractions.

The fundamental concept of
5S, like that of other lean tools, is
reducing waste. By returning to this
fundamental principle, the concept
can be extended to workstations of
all sorts-either physical or virtual.
Organization of the basic work in
a process enhances focus, lowers
stress and improves throughput
compared to a disorganized and chaotic workflow. Using a flowchart for
processing inbox content provides a
quick way to begin organizing workflow and producing a 5S information
space.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
1. Drew Willis, Process Implementation
Through 5S: Laying the Foundation for
Lean, CRC Press, 2016.
2. Can Akdeniz, Lean Management
Explained, Bad Bodendorf-Best
Business Books, 2015.
3. Mark Graban, Lean Hospitals, CRC Press,
2012.
4. David Allen, Getting Things Done,
Penguin Group, 2001.
5. Leo Babauta, Zen to Done, Brilliance
Audio, 2008.
6. For more information about the
Remember the Milk application, visit
www.rememberthemilk.com/tour.
7. For more information about the Trello
application, visit https://trello.com/guide.
8. Dan Markovitz, "How to Make an Office
Lean," Industry Week, Aug. 23, 2007.

Occasional audits

As with other 5S programs, an audit process can track improvement
over time-data from a knowledge 5S training program show substantial
improvement in organization and effectiveness as a result of the training.
Table 1 (p. 18) shows sample questions that can be used in such an audit.
Figure 3 contains the before-and-after results of 5S audits for a group
of 30 trainees and shows a significant improvement in the organization
of the workspace and the corresponding effectiveness of work. The
first bar in the figure in each graph shows the results of the pre-training
audit, while the second shows the post-training results, and the third the
difference between them. The overall average score and the minimum
score increased after training. The max survey and min survey lines show
the highest and lowest possible scores.
Similar results occurred with implementation of this method in a New
York City municipal government office. Among other positive benefits,
the time required for workers to locate information decreased by 36%,
and overtime dropped by 35% as productivity increased.⁸

Scott Marchand Davis is director of
quality assurance and regulatory affairs at
Microline Surgical in Beverly, MA. He has
an MBA from Babson College in Wellesley,
MA, and a master's degree in regulatory
affairs from Northeastern University in
Boston. He is a senior member of ASQ
and an ASQ-certified manager of quality/
organizational excellence and Six Sigma
Black Belt.

qualityprogress.com ❘ February 2018

QP 21


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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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