This post is part of the series “why 5S fail”.
Nobody is interested in housekeeping.
This is particularly true in heavier industries with more male workforce, “housekeeping” is incompatible with (macho) pride and way beneath their dignity.
In most machist workshops they complain about being turned into “maids”.
Therefore announcing decluttering and cleaning up is never the best way to start, even in environments with lesser testosterone levels.
My way would be to find such a challenge and while searching how to achieve the goal, gently lead the participants to express themselves the need for order, cleanliness and suitable work environment.
When facilitating 5S deployment, I put myself in a learning posture and ask lots of questions, in a smart way. People usually love to share their knowledge, especially because on shop floor it is not that common that somebody pays attention to their work and experience.
A bit of flattering “you are the subject matter experts, you know best” is usually welcome and sweetens their day, which is also true and is what I really think.
Of course my questioning is not that candid but a way to surface the required basic conditions to achieve our goal.
Once these basic conditions listed, I manage to go through the 5S rollout quickly in order to start the next level of tasks, usually more appealing, like problem solving or technical improvements.
Of course, I do not hesitate to iterate back to sorting, arranging, cleaning and redefining the standards if the 5S maturity is not at desired level.
I simply explain why it is common to iterate and if my audience don’t know about, I’ll explain the Deming wheel (PDCA cycle) and its wedge.
If you liked this post, share it!Follow @HOHMANN_Chris