How to evaluate a process ?



I am new in quality. I am currently a continuous improvement intern. However, I have some questions:
- Can the 5S method be applied to any area and any job?
I work in a department where my colleagues only deal with the logistics flow. There are no tools to use, everything is on the internet. We are in open space. My colleagues coordinate the delivery of goods through SAP. There are no tools or machines to use (like DIY). All the documents are on Sharepoint, but they are not well organized. And I would like to apply the 5S method to be able to organize them on Sharepoint. Can we say that the 5S method can be applied to this?

I have heard about Lean Six Sigma for process improvement (evaluate the performance of the current process in order to collect data on what is problematic). Do you have any advice for me? How do I go about it (in general)?

How can we evaluate the performance of the process?

Thanks in advance,

Jen Kirley

Quality and Auditing Expert
Hello Ch00Ch00, I am sorry for the delay in this response.

I would support skipping the traditional 5S methods in a process where there is nothing to tidy up.

Lean Six Sigma is frustrating for me because I have not seen enough reliable reference material as there is for Six Sigma.

In general, The Lean approach targets performance (in terms of productivity, quality, lead times and costs) through waste elimination and continuous improvement. The Six Sigma methodology seeks to eliminate defects and variations in production processes. I did find a paper by David Göransson and Arnela Tunovic that goes into depth on the subject.

A process is assumed to have inputs and outputs. The outputs may contribute to the efficiency of other process(es) based on their timeliness and accuracy. Timeliness is efficiency, accuracy is effectiveness. Both can be meaured. Improvements should ideally improve one or both, but not at the detriment of the other.

I hope this helps.


Trusted Information Resource
How can we evaluate the performance of the process?

I may be incorrect, but from your post it seems you are trying to select a tool before you have clearly defined your desired outcome.

What. specifically, do you mean by 'performance'? For example, you mention wanting to organize SharePoint docs. In concrete measurable terms, what does 'organize' mean? How will you know when you have achieved 'organized'? What will this doc system look like, function like, etc.? Once you have these questions answered, then it will be easier for you to select an appropriate tool (or tools) for a) implementation, and b) measurement.

John Predmore

Trusted Information Resource
Quality practitioners think largely about process and outputs as collections and sequences of discrete entities, whereas Lean practitioners are much more focused on flow, the flow of parts but also the flow of information in an organization.

The 5 S's are often the first step in a Lean initiative: sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain (which are translations of the original Japanese words used by Toyota). How to apply those terms in your situation is largely up to you.

The example referenced on the ASQ website for 5-S is a Medicaid Enrollment template, both the form and the enrollment process. You have to be an ASQ member to download the full case study. I offer this as evidence that 5-S principles are applicable to computer records as well as manufacturing examples.
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