Rupert maintenance shed finds that 5S goes beyond Spring Cleaning         

5S stands for Sort, Shine, Set in Order, Standardize, and Sustain, with Study being a possible addition to the group. It is not a synonym for Spring Cleaning. Members of the Rupert maintenance shed learned that first-hand as part of the ITD Leadership Summit 5S team. They took the first steps to transform their shed over the course of several days in October with the help of several other ITD employees from around the state.

“I’ll admit I was probably the biggest skeptic,” explained D3 staff engineer Mike Van Lydegraf during the report-out at the Leadership Summit event Oct. 25 in Boise. “Spring cleaning is a small part of the process, but it is much more than that.”

The 5S experience, besides tackling the existing problems, includes formulation of a “next steps” plan to guide the shed into the future.

Those steps, which include everything from the finalizing plans for a lube bay and the tool room, to the far corners of the shed, meeting room and restrooms. The team agreed to focus on the working relationships within the group to improve employee morale, to reshuffle their typical approach to jobs in order to more quickly get out of the shed and on their routes, and to refocus on planning to improve the efficiency of tasks.  

Five members of the Rupert shed were on hand at the ITD Leadership Summit Oct. 25 in Boise, extolling the benefits of 5S to their workgroup, such as increased safety, efficiency, and employee engagement.

The crew also will emphasize making it fun and accentuating the positive. Improved employee morale was a huge selling point, as Mitch Stachowsky Jr., a member of D2’s Powell shed, demonstrated at the end of the summit.

Stachowsky, a member of the 5S Team at the summit, was duly impressed not only based on what he heard in a week of 5S discussions with his team, but also the overall tenor of the event.

“I was considering retiring, but as long as ITD continues moving forward and progresses toward removing itself from the old-school philosophy that was not working, I’m staying put. Thank you for making my decision easy.”

“The next steps list is not intended to be completed immediately,” said team facilitator and ITD Organizational Development Specialist Jim Phillips. “Those in the Rupert shed can prioritize and complete the items as time and resources become available. It is primarily meant to act as a catalyst to keep us thinking about continuous improvement.  Not only can we think about next steps but we can look at where we are and what still remains to be done.

“It was a privilege and honor to work with that group,” Phillips added.  “They planned and worked well together, took to heart and implemented the concepts of 5S, and did continuous improvement in the middle of working the plan.”

Watch the Rupert shed 5S time-lapse video: http://itdportal/sites/ExecMgmt/CAO/innovation/2017/12/Documents/TimeLapseVideo.mp4

Watch the Rupert 5S Team video.

Published 11-03-17