fancy lean terms are not always your solution.

Toyota shares their years of experience and learning. There are full documentaries, millions of articles, and seminar after seminar surrounding the TPS. Yet, I have heard of, read about and witnessed less than TPS quality results from adaptation of the system. Toyota shares the solutions to a problem they were experiencing. Using problem solving tactics – they had a current situation, and a desired condition but needed to close the gap. Each tool was a creation to close the gap; the solution to their problem. 

I say this so that you are aware. I am not saying that using 5S is a bad idea. In general, you will most likely find that the solutions will have some use in your organization. However, buying a book and starting to roll out each of the ideas as if it were a checklist for success is not a good idea. Learn from the material and shift your paradigm at your solution phase. Their success does not make your success. Yet, if you start to understand the culture – the need – the thought process to creating a solution – the adaption of relentless waste removal while tailoring specifically to your need – then you may have a viable option. The lesson is the key, that is, their process creation should give you hope that your solution may not be in a book but a best practice (for you).

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