A 5S Assignment Chart is one of the best aids in sustaining a daily 5S process. The assignment chart lists:
- All the 5S tasks in a zone (designated area)
- The frequency which the task should be done: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
- The person’s name who is responsible for completing the task.
- A list of the tools needed for each task (broom, towel and so on).
All you have to do is post this assignment chart in the zone to help ensure the tasks get done. Sounds simple enough, right? Like most concepts in lean manufacturing, I have learned it goes much deeper than what we originally think. So, too, for even the simple 5S Assignment Chart.
Frankly, the posting of the 5S Assignment Chart or, for that matter, any other document (sign, work instruction, standard worksheet or PM task list) itself does not ensure that the tasks are completed or followed as described. You learn this lesson rather quickly after the initial excitement of the newly posted item becomes mundane. We sometimes fall into the trap that anything posted is important and therefore, everyone will follow it. Not true. Just look at speed limit signs as an example.
These helpful tips will share just a few ways to successfully utilize a 5S Assignment Chart.
1) Organize the 5S Assignment Chart
In the first column, organize the responsible workers alphabetically by name> followed by the task> frequency> tools assigned. When you list tasks first, it is more difficult to see who is responsible and therefore harder for the employees to find their assigned task. Make it easy (more visual) for each person to find their own tasks.
2) Cluster Employee Tasks
Cluster all the tasks for each employee together if they have more than one task assigned to them. Again, makes it easier to find all your assignments.
3) Team Approach
Have all the team members work to divide up tasks and delegate responsibilities. Traditionally, a leader just assigns who gets what task and some people don’t like the results. A team approach on this point gets better buy-in.
4) Be Specific
Under frequency, be specific. Don’t just say weekly rather specify the actual day of the week. For instance, Tuesday.
5) Make the 5S Assignment Chart Visual
In addition to assigning specific days, make frequency visual. For example, use a column to represent each day of the week and add a symbol on the assigned day for each task. If the task is daily, put a symbol in every column of the week for that task. Use color!
6) Everyone gets daily tasks
Make sure every person has a daily task. The 5S process works best if done daily, so base your task listing with daily assignments.
7) Keep it simple
Keep assignments simple. Assigned tasks should be completed in about a five-minute period.
8) Employee accountability
Have each employee sign off individually (and daily) after completing their task. This is better than having someone else (a zone leader or supervisor) signing off for all tasks.
9) Daily leader check-off
Daily have the zone leader or supervisor (as part of their standard work) check and review the Assignment Chart that the tasks for that day were successfully completed. Their job is to coach and support employees. If a task was not complete, ask the person responsible, “Why not?” and, “What can I do to help you get it done?”
10) Lead by example
Use the best management tool—the power of “leading by example.” Every leader should have a daily assignment and complete it daily.
11) Rotate tasks
Rotate the task assignments often. Share the burden and eliminate the boredom.
Talk to the pros at The 5S Store to help you Sustain your 5S workplace.
Need more help with assigning tasks?
Here is a list of good 5S standard practices taken from a fantastic new book from GBMP E2 Continuous Improvement System.
- Make it clear what is needed and what is not needed.
- Make red-tagging and removing unneeded items on an ongoing basis an owned task.
- Establish guidelines for signage and meanings for colors used in work areas.
- Identify walk areas, dangerous conditions or danger zones.
- Clarify home locations for material, information, equipment, and supplies.
- Outline expectations and frequency for cleaning and inspection activities in the area.
- Ensure tools and supplies for maintaining 5S are located and available.
Once you’ve gathered your tasks and created your assignment board, you’re well on your way.