Category Archives: Thomas Fabrizio

How can I eliminate waste and improve bottom-line results?

Ever hear of “5S for the Office?” My friend (thanks Beth!) pointed me to this training. Thomas Fabrizio and Don Tapping put together a course book in 2006 to do just that. Eliminating waste simply starts with organizing the workplace. Confession – I have not implemented this yet, but I plan on doing so to the fullest extent possible at work and (hopefully) at home. I like the simplicity of the model. Click here for the 5S circle model and click here for the scan diagnostic checklist.

So, here they are – the 5S for the Office:

1. Sort (don’t forget to develop criteria) – From the text: “When in doubt, move it out.”

2. Set in order (develop your plan) – From the text: “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

3. Shine (clean it up) – From the text: “Make it clean and keep it clean.”

4. Standardize (create some rules for sustaining the cleanliness level) – From the text: “If you can’t see it, you don’t know, and if you don’t know, you can’t control.”

5. Sustain (educating others to help you keep to the rules cleanliness and order) – From the text: “Maintain the gain and forget the blame.”

Before you start, you need to perform 2 phases:

Phase 1:  Prepare the project with the key being to identify target areas.

Phase 2:  Perform an office scan and take some before pictures

Okay, why go through all this trouble? So you don’t feel like you are wasting your time and you can process your documents (bills and other mail) and you know where everything is. Finding something should never be an Easter egg hunt.

I definitely need to personally internalize these lessons (which are also principles of lean and Kaizen which lead to a more overall efficient environment). Remember that your computer has a desktop that can be organized, as well, including your electronic work files. The goal is to get and stay as organized as possible – this reminds me a little of the “Professionalism” post.