Our Annual 5 S Lean Cleanup

Each year at Setpoint as we begin the New Year we go through the 5 S process in our office.  We sort through everything at our desks, the shop, closets, and in the office in general to clear out those things that we no longer need or use.  Then we straighten everything up and rearrange stuff to clean things out and make it easier to find items that we use. 

This year as I was preparing to lead the 5 S cleanup the decision was made to cleanup our Intranet instead.  We got rid of so much over the last few years and hadn’t really accumulated much since our last cleanup.  However, our Intranet is about 5 or 6 years old and instead of cleaning old files off as they were no longer needed and keeping the architecture up to date as we went along, new links and pages were added instead.

If you ask the CEO to find a document on the Intranet he won’t be able to.  He tells me all the time that it’s confusing and that it takes too many clicks to find anything.  How in the world do you start sorting through the Intranet?  I started by making a list of every page and document that we had on there.  We have over 500 items on our Intranet, I had no idea.  Some of those items were duplicates where the same document was added into two different sections.  At least I knew what I needed to sort through.  It just goes to show that when you don’t pay attention to something, it can get totally out of hand as everyone keeps adding things that are not necessary.

The next thing I did was to ask everyone what documents they actually use from our Intranet.  For the most part, there were four documents that most people use.  The rest are either once in a while or they are not used at all.  That was an eye opener, why do we have so many documents available if no one ever even looks at them. 

Now it is time to straighten everything up.  Those items that are used will need to be grouped with like items so that within three clicks you can find any document on our Intranet.  I also need to come up with better category names so that by looking at it you will know what is included, rather than generic terms like “Forms”.

So I’m off to get these items straightened up.  Hopefully the next stage in this process will be easy.

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