Just recently, I saw the first example of zero training 5S. Just in case you are curious what 5S is let me hit the highlights before moving on. It is a list of five words (coincidentally they all start with "S" weird huh?) that describe the process for organizing a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order.
Stabilizing or Straightening Out (Seiton)
Sweeping or Shining (Seiso)
Sustaining the Practice (Shitsuke)
Now on with the story, I was making my monthly visit to the gym (hey I have to make good use of that gym membership right?) and I noticed they had added small boxes made of masking tape on the floor next to the equipment areas. Not that different than the one shown on the left. In the box was a bottle of equipment cleaner that every sweaty patron was expected to use at the end of each workout to Shine the equipment. Now when I came into the gym no one trained me on the use of equipment sanitizer and certainly no one told me where to put it when I was done but as I looked around I noticed that every box contained a bottle and every machine looked quite clean. Now don’t get me wrong the cleaner was not a new idea in fact they had had them for years but they were always just scattered around the gym, piled in the windows and never close enough when you needed them. I would guess this lead to lower compliance to the self-cleaning policy.
It has now been a few months since they instituted the process to Standardize the storage location and the boxes are still driving the right behavior. The cleaner is there and it is used more frequently than in the past and they are now Sustaining.
What small things can you do in your site to begin to create order? The every journey begins with a few small steps.