We want to make it easier to start conversations and find answers here at Gemba Panta Rei. You will see a number of changes to the blog design and functionality over 2009. It will be a series of small experiments. There is no master plan. We have a few ideas we will try. We are looking for input from people who value the information on this site – you.
As part of our ongoing commitment to expand knowledge and practice of kaizen, lean management and organizational development we are creating a section of our blog titled “Ask Gemba”. This is a very simple thing to do and it’s hard to say why it never occurred to us before… In a few weeks you will see a button for “Ask Gemba” but for now please ask in any comments section and we will put the questions in the right section.
Why do we need a special section for “Ask Gemba?”
We receive a lot of follow-up questions to blog articles posted months or even years ago. Sometimes my answers to these questions turn into full-blown blog entries so everyone can benefit from the insightful question. Other times I write brief responses directly under the reader’s question in the comment section. The problem with doing that is that the vast majority of readers have no way of knowing that a question has been asked or that an answer has been given, unless you are somehow following updates to comment sections of all articles. Others may be able to benefit from the conversations and learning that result from these question. In some cases you the readers will have better answers than me to these questions.
So it seems like it’s time to have a place to collect these “Ask Gemba” learning opportunities. Feel free to continue to post questions directly in the comment sections of current articles, or even in archived content from years past. What we will do is to pick up those questions and post them under the Ask Gemba section, along with answers or an invitation to you to contribute with your answers. If the question was in an archived article, we will put a link there to the answer in the Ask Gemba section.
For starters, yesterday a reader posed this question to an article in this blog from March 19, 2008.
thanks for the information about 5S. but i still need more. can you tell me about being good 5S auditor? because in my factory that i work, still hard to explain how good the result of 5S programs.
My answer to this question effective 5S auditing would be something to the effect of:
- Explain to people the difference between leading indicators and lagging indicators
- Productivity, defects, on-time delivery,safety performance are all lagging indicators
- The condition of 5S in the workplace is a leading indicator
- The 5S audit is an intervention to correct deteriorating conditions that will affect performance if left unchecked
- Be extremely specific in linking a 5S element score (poor 1S – Sort) with a concrete example (cable on the floor) with a resulting abnormality (someone trips over cable) and the resulting performance indicator (safety – lost time)
What do you think it takes to be a good 5S auditor? Not only do we want you to ask Gemba, we want to know your answer.