TimeCamp presents: Lean Management
- October 28, 2016
- by Jakub Szyszka
- No comments
Table of Contents
Today we are discussing one of the oldest methods for managing projects that is successfully used till this day without having been changed – lean management.
The concept was created and developed in Japan, in Toyota Motor Company, right after World War II. The technical and organizational solutions were suggested by Taiichi Ohno. He wanted to try a new approach to the production methods – introducing a flexible and high-quality solutions to eliminate waste and ensure continuous improvement in the company.
In English literature, it is referred to as the Toyota Production System (TPS). It is also called the 5S method, the name is based on the five words that Taiichi used to present his concept.
- Seiri (selection) – getting rid of unnecessary objects from your working station (or nowadays, from your PC or Mac =] )
- Seiton (systematics/taxonomy) – preparing your tools, documentation, and materials in such way that they are in your reach and you can use them quickly whenever you want
- Seiso (cleaning) – doing this once in a while is a method to have more control over your working station
- Seiketsu (standardization) – making sure that everyone is maintaining the rules of the previously established steps
- Shitsuke (self-discipline) – habit of keeping to the rules
5S is a simple concept often treat with disregard by workers. However, it has many assets:
- We are more productive when our workplace is clean and tidy
- We are less likely to make a mistake when everything is neatly organized
- It is easier to meet production deadlines
- The workplace is safer and the atmosphere is better
We believe that this concept should be implemented in every company, it definitely helps in every-day management and it is very easy to introduce it to your team. What is more, taking those good habits from work to your home will have a positive influence on your life.
Let us now discuss each point individually:
The first step in the implementation of 5S concept into the company is a selection. To put it simply – get rid of all the unimportant, unnecessary, interrupting stuff that clutters your place. Leave only the things/files/programs that are important for you, that may provide some help in whatever you are doing. If you have any doubts – delete.
How will it help?
- gives you more control over the chaos and confusion that gets in the way of your work
- reduces the time that employees spent looking for parts, tools, or information
- maintaining unnecessary tools and paying for not needed software will be reduced to zero
- the problems with finishing project/production will be more visible
Systematics. The target of this step it to organize all your tools, documents, and information in such way, that you will have an easy and quick access to them. After the first step, you have just the important stuff at your working place. Now assign all your tools to particular places so you will never have to look for them again.
If you are a manager of a big team, organize each working place in a similar way, so that if your team members will have to switch places they will know what is where. Systematics is a part of visual management – with just a little effort you can make both yourself and your team comfortable at work.
The third step that requires a bit of self-discipline. Make cleaning an integral part of your working routine and be a role model for your co-workers and team member. Not only your office will look great but the overall atmosphere will raise for the better.
It doesn’ matter if you are cleaning your working station or your working device – it is one of the best ways to find any holes in your projects. Cleaning up pretty much equals going through your working process once more, use it to ensure that your tasks and goals are in perfect condition.
Implement this rule step by step:
- Decide what needs to be clean and organized.
- Designate tasks – prepare a schedule that will show who is responsible for what
- Make sure that all the necessary equipment is provided
- Make it your and others’ habit and keep an eye on it!
Standardization – performing the previous 3 steps being sure that everything is going as it should be. This appears only when the previous steps are being done properly.
This step reduces the risk that bad habits and situations return. Implement standards for the workers and check once in a while if they abide by them. Be sure that those standards are logically explained. You can do the audits after some time to ensure that everyone respects the rules.
Self-discipline. In other words, this is all the constantly performed work required to keep this method running. It is the habit of sticking to the previously implemented rules without breaking them. Without it all the benefits that come with this concept are going to vanish.
The most important thing in self-discipline is the ability to convince your team that abiding by all the previously implemented rules is offers them nothing but benefits. If you know your team and your office environment, this should be a piece of cake.
There are, however, tools that may be a great help in keeping your team under control. Try the time management software that monitors the time spent on a computer and displays the analysis of all the activities performed on it. TimeCamp does that and many other things that can be indispensable when it comes to managing your team or even your own working space.
Do not worry that your employees will complain about the time tracking software. The fact is, they will only benefit from it. Those who argue about it simply do not want to work. Try TimeCamp for free and see the results!
As we said at the beginning of this article, the lean management is very far from being complicated. The biggest challenge is to follow the five rules of this concept. Do not force this on your team, introduce it to them and work together on the proper implementation of this method into your company. This may be easier than you think and oh so profitable.