Standardize – Systematize exactly what needs to be done.
In review, 5S consists of the following five steps:
Some would agree that the first three steps are the easiest. Sort and purge the contents of your office. Straighten up and put things away. And then keep the area clean. In order to keep your office from returning to its original state, be sure to carry out the last two steps, the first of which is Standardize.
Think about the work that actually gets done in your office. Many times there’s a process involved, but you don’t really think about an actual process per se, because you’ve grown accustomed to doing a particular task.
For instance, you might be responsible for sending information packets to prospective clients. Perhaps you send 5-6 each day. You could assemble these blindfolded because you do it so often. And yet, have you ever accidentally sent an incomplete packet? Probably.
Now imagine you land in the hospital tomorrow. Someone else in the office is now in charge of sending out prospective customer packets. How will they know what to include?
Begin standardizing processes such as this one. Create a checklist of everything included in the packet as well as how it is shipped and who does the follow up. Include a photo of what it looks like when assembled. Post the checklist in the area where the packet supplies are stored and assembled so you never send out an incomplete packet again.
This is Standardization. Documenting what gets done and how it is accomplished.