The first thing I want a client to do is to ‘Sweep’ their facility. Every room. Every office.
If you don’t know what you have, you can’t address everything.
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how many things companies find. In one manufacturing area in 1998 we found a specification from 1984. No one knew what it was there for. Probably a project from long ago. In some companies I have seen memos that were 5 years old on bulletin boards. You might find, in one building, that some bulletin boards are always up to date while others are years out of date. A sampling will not catch this type of problem.
The most common type of problem identified during sweeps is that of ‘work instructions’ at work stations, in cubicles on walls and similar spaces. Post-it notes are famous ‘work instructions’.
Be on the lookout for use of white-out and ensure its use, if any, re3flects company policy.
1. Decide on a Home Base
2. From a corner of the room, radiate out as a team.
Divide the area up into sectors with one person per sector.
3. Collect samples of or make copies of forms, tags and other ‘documents’. Bring to Home Base.
4. Make notes of problems you find.
5. Mark each wall, desk, shelf, etc. that you have visited.