The pillars that support Toyota Production System (TPS) are Jidoka and Just-in-Time. The foundation of TPS is Standardization. Using standards helps removing gaps between what does happen and what should happen. Standardization let us organize in a way that is observable, repeatable, measurable, and that can be improved.
Creating Standard includes 5S and Visual Management, will help us identify and define normal and abnormal conditions.
It refers to five Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. In English, the words translates to: Organization, Orderliness, Cleanliness, Standardize and Discipline. Toyota created its own 5S list:
Sift – determine what’s needed, what amount is needed and how often. Remove all unnecessary items from the workplace, which results in uncluttered and better organized space with more efficient layout.
Sort – arrange and label items to make them easy to use, easy to find and easy to put away.
Sweep and Wash – ensure that the work area, equipment and tools are in best condition, clean and ready to be used when needed. Remove dirt and dust from the workplace.
Spic and Span – result of regular and consistent Sift, Sort, Sweep and Wash.
Sustain – make a habit of properly maintained the correct procedures.
Another way to help with Standardization is what Toyota calls “Visualization” or “Visual Management”. Simply, this means creating ways to see or highlight the thing we are focused on. We use visual management for standards, targets, and to show current conditions.
Examples of visual management are graphs that clearly show improvements or concerns, written procedures that shows standard process, or making sure a visual review is part of quality check to detect defects.