This issue may not be a problem for you, but it is more common than I would have ever believed had I not seen it happen so many times. Here's what's happening.
 
Organizations of all types and sizes are making improvements in workplace organization, material flow, labor productivity, product quality, and so on. Kaizen blitz events end with participants and observers elated with the results they have achieved. Unfortunately, most of the improvements erode over time leaving managers and employees disheartened, frustrated, and skeptical about any future change effort.
 
What the heck is so hard about sustainment?
 
I don't want to oversimplify the issue of sustainment because changing behavior is a challenge, but there is one thing you can do to increase your odds immensely.
 
What is it?
 
Be clear that the responsibility for sustaining results lies solely with the first level supervisor and teach them what they need to do in order to sustain results.
 
It's amazing to me just how many organizations fail at this. They'll conduct kaizen events, train employees and managers, buy books, and attend seminars, but they never identify who is responsible for ensuring standards are followed. And the few that do make supervisors responsible fail to do little, if anything, to teach them the skills to sustain. It's catastrophic.
 
written by Steve Lage from PDG

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We are going through this ourselves at PGI , I had 12 years experience at Caterpillar before joining up with PGI. Caterpillar was very 5S focused , and I learned a great deal there. But even there we had lots of conversations on who is responsible ,ultimately, for ensuring standards are maintained. Caterpillar had Weekly & Monthly 5S audits to ensure everything was kept to it's standards. But even this was not enough, in my opinion , you need a 5S Manager or Coordinator to ensure things are done. PGI is determining now , which direction they'd currently like to go, hopefully they will place myself in the new role, but if not they do need to place someone in the role to coordinate, deploy, and sustain every aspect of 5S. I'm not in a permanent role as of yet , but I get called to the floor several times a day for advice and direction . So I definately agree with "Steve Lage from PDG" you have to have someone that is responsible for maintaining 5S and all it includes, while also providing the tools / materials to properly train/explain 5S and it's importance.

Daniel Stancil
PGI , INC
I agree that at the outset someone in the plant should be the "go to" person for everything 5S. Hopefully, overtime, as the education spreads and people get on board, other stars will surface and become natural go to folks. Before this can take place with any success an initial standardized process needs to be put in place. i.e. visual color codes>>green = kanban, blue = tools, barrels, etc.

Daniel Stancil said:
We are going through this ourselves at PGI , I had 12 years experience at Caterpillar before joining up with PGI. Caterpillar was very 5S focused , and I learned a great deal there. But even there we had lots of conversations on who is responsible ,ultimately, for ensuring standards are maintained. Caterpillar had Weekly & Monthly 5S audits to ensure everything was kept to it's standards. But even this was not enough, in my opinion , you need a 5S Manager or Coordinator to ensure things are done. PGI is determining now , which direction they'd currently like to go, hopefully they will place myself in the new role, but if not they do need to place someone in the role to coordinate, deploy, and sustain every aspect of 5S. I'm not in a permanent role as of yet , but I get called to the floor several times a day for advice and direction . So I definately agree with "Steve Lage from PDG" you have to have someone that is responsible for maintaining 5S and all it includes, while also providing the tools / materials to properly train/explain 5S and it's importance.

Daniel Stancil
PGI , INC
Hi , I am a 5S Coordinator & we have been doing 5S for several years. As a whole we have made great changes in the plant, however, I still find myself discouraged because team members(hourly) do not want to take the responsibility & ownership for their area. I presently do monthly audits & train team members on all shifts to audit different areas, training them so they can take it back to their area. We also have Team Leader areas of responsibility in which they help lead their team. With all this going on I still feel like if I was not holding it together it would slowly fall apart. Does anyone have susgestions on how to change your environment that team members/leaders would want to have buy in in the program.
TM

Daniel Stancil said:
We are going through this ourselves at PGI , I had 12 years experience at Caterpillar before joining up with PGI. Caterpillar was very 5S focused , and I learned a great deal there. But even there we had lots of conversations on who is responsible ,ultimately, for ensuring standards are maintained. Caterpillar had Weekly & Monthly 5S audits to ensure everything was kept to it's standards. But even this was not enough, in my opinion , you need a 5S Manager or Coordinator to ensure things are done. PGI is determining now , which direction they'd currently like to go, hopefully they will place myself in the new role, but if not they do need to place someone in the role to coordinate, deploy, and sustain every aspect of 5S. I'm not in a permanent role as of yet , but I get called to the floor several times a day for advice and direction . So I definately agree with "Steve Lage from PDG" you have to have someone that is responsible for maintaining 5S and all it includes, while also providing the tools / materials to properly train/explain 5S and it's importance.

Daniel Stancil
PGI , INC
Hi TM - this is a common challenge with any intiative including 5s. It all goes back to management support and making folks accountable. Management then needs to work with the Supervisors and Front line leaders to make sure they understand the expectation. Those Supervisors in turn have to step out of their comfort zone and and point out areas where their direct reports have not kept up a certain 5S practice. When they see an item out of place, it's imperative that they call over the responsible party and point it out to them. Overtime, folks will realize they will be held accountable. One effective tool to keep them on track is to make it part of their regular performance review. The Supervisors are a critical and often overlooked piece of the puzzle. It goes without saying that the Supervisors also need to reinforce the good practices their direct reports have done as well. I hope this helps.

T M said:
Hi , I am a 5S Coordinator & we have been doing 5S for several years. As a whole we have made great changes in the plant, however, I still find myself discouraged because team members(hourly) do not want to take the responsibility & ownership for their area. I presently do monthly audits & train team members on all shifts to audit different areas, training them so they can take it back to their area. We also have Team Leader areas of responsibility in which they help lead their team. With all this going on I still feel like if I was not holding it together it would slowly fall apart. Does anyone have susgestions on how to change your environment that team members/leaders would want to have buy in in the program.
TM

Daniel Stancil said:
We are going through this ourselves at PGI , I had 12 years experience at Caterpillar before joining up with PGI. Caterpillar was very 5S focused , and I learned a great deal there. But even there we had lots of conversations on who is responsible ,ultimately, for ensuring standards are maintained. Caterpillar had Weekly & Monthly 5S audits to ensure everything was kept to it's standards. But even this was not enough, in my opinion , you need a 5S Manager or Coordinator to ensure things are done. PGI is determining now , which direction they'd currently like to go, hopefully they will place myself in the new role, but if not they do need to place someone in the role to coordinate, deploy, and sustain every aspect of 5S. I'm not in a permanent role as of yet , but I get called to the floor several times a day for advice and direction . So I definately agree with "Steve Lage from PDG" you have to have someone that is responsible for maintaining 5S and all it includes, while also providing the tools / materials to properly train/explain 5S and it's importance.

Daniel Stancil
PGI , INC

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