Saturday, June 27, 2009

Use of Name Tokens on a Shared Shadow Board

As part of this journey to find “True North” it is important to share best practices. A common saying in the Lean community is to “steal shamelessly”. We often follow this up with “adopt then adapt”, meaning to implement improvement then work to improve said improvement.

Recently, I observed an activity that is worth sharing. A common solution in 5S activities is the use of shadow board to organize and display tools. Many times these shadow boards may be at the point of use in a work space where tools and items don’t move far. In this case the shadow board technique was used in shared tool room for many trades. The issue that came up was how do you know a tool is missing rather than in use by a trade member. The team came up with idea of using a name token to hang on the shadow board. This name token would indicate that this individual is utilizing this tool.

Through the use of a simple visual the team has saved significant time to keep track of tools which has supported sustaining this shadow board in a shared work space like this tool room. Prior to this improvement the team spent a lot of non-value added time to see whether tools were in use or not by someone.

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