Tuesday, June 09, 2009

5S gets you organized to be Lean








As our merry band of senior executives and clinical leaders continued our course in Lean philosophy and techniques today, we were reminded of the foundational power of the 5S, often called the first step in workplace improvement: Sort, set in order, shine, standardize, sustain. The storyboards above give some examples of the applications of these from clinical locations at BIDMC as we have proceeded with BIDMC SPIRIT over the last several months. As you look at them, they seem common-sensical and easy, but it takes practice and training to notice the opportunities and implement this kind of improvement.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is some of the best and most innovative thinking I've seen in the use of the Lean 5S methodology.
You gave me wonderful ideas I can use.
Congratulations on the great work and making life easier for the staff and better for the patients.

Jack said...

nice idea.... Everyone should follow that.

Jamie Flinchbaugh said...

I think this is great application but does expand really beyond 5S to the broader topic of visual management.

i was recently at a hospital that was doing a lot of 5S, but I feel they were doing 5S for the wrong reason. They were doing it because it was the easy place to start.

Despite how long it's been around, people still screw up 5S repeatedly. I think the main reason is that they do 5S because 5S is a lean tool. They do it because it is easy. They aren't doing it because it's solving a problem that they have. 5S should organize the work so that problems become visible. That's its purpose. Consider a NASCAR garage. How does the floor look? It's spotless. Why? Because if there is a single drop of oil, you know about the problem right away. You don't want to wait to find out you have a problem 100 laps into a race.

Here's a simple tool, 5S, but starts off on the wrong foot. It's applied without people knowing why they are doing it.

Jamie Flinchbaugh
www.jamieflinchbaugh.com

Paul Levy said...

Jamie,

Strictly speaking, you are right, but I would also worry about being a bit too much of a purist. Sometimes working through an exercise like this helps people be more responsive to and eager to learn the bigger Lean lessons and philosophy.

Jamie Flinchbaugh said...

Paul,

I think that is a completely valid reason to engage a team in 5S. However, when that is the case, far too often people don't manage the project with that being an explicit objective. If the purpose is engagement, unless you are clear about that being objective, manage with that in mind, and measure yourself against that objective, you will likely fall short.

Jamie

Paul Levy said...

Right!

Jennifer said...

Would you mind the use of your slides to present to my staff?

Paul Levy said...

Feel free.

Mark, Amy and McKenna said...

Paul, great slides... Do you mind if I use them as an example in my 5S presentation? I currently work for Intermountain Health Care in Utah and feel this is the perfect example of LEAN in the workplace.

Paul Levy said...

Please do!

Corrine said...

Wow, fantastic blog! It's amazing how this kind of blog exists to illuminate people on healthcare practices. May I use this for my 5S presentation too? I took care of my mom for 5 years till she passed away 2 months ago. Healthcare workers are so dear to me. Many thanks!

Paul Levy said...

By all means, share widely. Glad it is helpful.