The first step to achieving the 5S lean laboratory using the ADKAR change management model is to evaluate the laboratory environment for its ability to make the 5S changes. Each specific element of ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement) needs to be evaluated by the 5S practitioner on the order of its current strength to be applied into the laboratory. Doing an analysis of the laboratory's capacity to make the 5S changes successful is crucial to implementing and sustaining the 5S lean laboratory, and beginning the laboratory's journey into lean laboratory functioning.
Analyzing Awareness for the Need of 5S
Evaluating awareness provides key points to be communicated to the laboratory employees and help them understand the need for change. Analyzing and answering questions like those listed below gives the 5S practitioner or change leader the ability to rate the laboratory employees' awareness of the need to change on a scale from one to five. The practitioner can provide a description and measurement of the awareness for the change by answering questions such as:
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How does the 5S implementation help the laboratory function? Is there a fundamental laboratory management issue affecting how the lab functions and produces laboratory outputs?
Does the 5S system improve laboratory employees' ability to complete their work tasks and provide the avenue for improving production and accuracy?
How does the 5S system implementation affect the customers of the laboratory? Will the production department, of the industrial company, be provided quicker product analysis with improved product testing accuracy? Is the laboratory 5S system going to improve the production department functioning?
Is the 5S system going to make the industrial lab more competitive with other industrial labs, and improve the competitiveness of the company against other industry competitors?
A low score provides the 5S practitioner the insight to improve the laboratory employees' awareness of the reasons the 5S changes are needed from a business, customer, and competitor standpoint. A high score reassures the 5S practitioner that its laboratory leadership and employee base are aware of the need for 5S system implementation; therefore, making the communication of the needed changes complete and ready for creating the desire for implementing the 5S system.
Analyzing the Desire to Implement 5S
Now that the practitioner has evaluated the awareness element of the 5S change into the laboratory, the next step is to evaluate the desire of the laboratory leadership and employees to make the 5S changes. Again the practitioner needs to rate the laboratory's level of desire from one to five by answering detailed questions about the industrial labs desire for change such as:
What are the motivating reasons to turn the Lab into a lean 5S laboratory?
Why would upper management support such change to the industrial lab?
Why would laboratory technicians support the 5S changes and functions to the laboratory?
Are the laboratory technicians promoting continuous improvement, and how do they perceive changes to their work environment?
Is laboratory or upper management employees objectionable to changes within the laboratory functional system?
With the analysis of the laboratory employee and upper management desire for change completed, the 5S practitioner can determine whether the desire level is absolute to making the 5S changes, or if the desire is so low that communication and motivational techniques need to be applied to increase the desire for the change. Unless the desire is high for the 5S changes to take place in the laboratory, it would not be advisable to continue to the knowledge element of the ADKAR change model. Many failures in change management, including lean 5S, are due to change leaders' inability to measure and create a high desire for change; therefore, prematurely jumping directly to the training or knowledge element of the ADKAR model.
Analyzing the Knowledge
for 5S Implementation
Once the 5S practitioner has finished evaluating the level of desire for 5S in the laboratory, then the knowledge element of the ADKAR change model can be evaluated. The 5S practitioner needs to ask some in depth questions pertaining to the training and knowledge of implementing the 5S system such as:
What training materials are needed to train the employees for making the needed changes and improvements in the laboratory?
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What type of knowledge and background of the 5S system changes does upper management need to understand, and do customers of the industrial lab need to be notified of such changes?
Does the 5S practitioner have the knowledge to sufficiently train the laboratory employees in the 5S system?
Does the 5S practitioner/change leader need to hire or bring in a 5S expert to implement the 5S system and/or train laboratory employees on the 5 steps of the 5S system?
What is the type of continuous training needed once the 5S system is in place?
What type of orientation training is needed for new hire laboratory employees, and who can provide the training? Does the Human Resources department need to be involved in the 5S training?
Is the laboratory leadership adequate in continually training and promoting the 5S knowledge once implementation is in place, or is a 5S consultant needed for refresher courses or a continuous training program?
Once the 5S practitioner has answered these questions thoroughly, a score can be determined from one to five on the strength of the knowledge element of the ADKAR change model for implementing the 5S system. If the score is low, then the 5S practitioner must create and organize an improved plan for developing the knowledge element. A low evaluation score means improvements must be made by the 5S practitioner and lab leadership to develop a successful training and education of the 5S system for all employees involved. A high score means there is an existing strong knowledge element for change, and a system is in place to support the training and education of the 5S system to the laboratory employees.
Analyzing the Ability to Implement 5S
Following the completed evaluation of the knowledge element of the ADKAR change management model, the ability element needs to be analyzed. During the analysis of ability, the 5S practitioner needs to thoroughly question the laboratories effectiveness to implement the change. Questions such as the following need to be answered:
Are there any scheduling problems for training laboratory employees in 5S?
Does the 5S practitioner have the time to train laboratory employees, or does an outside consultant need to be hired?
Is there be ample enough time to sort, set-in-order, and shine the laboratory effectively enough to improve the laboratory functioning and environment like it is designed?
Is there laboratory space available to store unnecessary laboratory items for disposal and temporary holding?
Is overtime needed for laboratory employees to implement the first three steps of the 5S system, or is temporary help needed?
Do the 5S practitioner and upper management have the training to standardize and sustain the 5S system or is additional training or consultation needed for these 5S functions? Is there an existing SOP system functioning within the laboratory quality management system?
Does upper management have the ability to provide the resources needed to implement and sustain the 5S system in terms of time, money, and equipment?
Answering these questions provides the 5S practitioner with a thorough evaluation of the ability of the organization and industrial laboratory to implement the 5S system changes. The evaluator should rank the ability element of the ADKAR change management model on a scale from one to five. One being poor ability with needed improvements within the laboratory to bring up its ability to implement the change. If the ability is ranked high, then the 5S practitioner should feel very confident in the laboratory's ability to successfully implement the 5S changes.
Analyzing the Reinforcement
of the 5S System
After the ability element has been evaluated, it is time to analyze the laboratory's reinforcement structure for sustaining the 5S system. The 5S practitioner, like the previous elements, thoroughly analyzes the reinforcement element of the ADKAR change management model of the current structure in the laboratory by answering questions like the following:
What types of incentives are in place in the laboratory to promote 5S system functions and production?
Are there any barriers that make sustaining the 5S system a problem?
Does the 5S practitioner and laboratory leadership understand how to use the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle for planning, implementing, analyzing, and continually improving the 5S system to reinforce and sustain the system long term?
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Do the laboratory leadership and 5S practitioner have the authority and freedom to celebrate and recognize employee performance in the aspect of 5S production?
Does the laboratory have a suggestion system or feedback system in place to enhance the 5S communication amongst the laboratory employees and leadership?
Are the 5S practitioner and leadership adept at performing 5S functional audits, or is training needed in system auditing?
Are 5S metrics developed to adequately measure the success of the 5S system?
Is efficient time going to be available for 5S periodic lab meetings and 5S refreshers?
Are laboratory employees held accountable for their performances, or does accountability and performance review need to be developed? Will the Human Resources department need to play a role in developing performance reviews?
Does the 5S practitioner and laboratory leadership have the personality or people skills to provide positive and constructive feedback, or will this type of training be needed?
Does the industrial lab have a standard operating procedure system in place to handle the standards needed to promote the 5S system?
How will laboratory employees know when they are needed to perform 5S system tasks? Is there a preventive maintenance notification system in place that can be used?
With answering the previous questions on the laboratories ability to reinforce the 5S system changes, the 5S practitioner acquires a greater understanding of the reinforcement element of the ADKAR change management model. Greater understanding offers insight to how the current laboratory environment compares to where it needs to be to sustain the 5S system long term. The 5S practitioner should rate the reinforcement element on a scale from one to five. Again like the previous ADKAR elements a low score means there are improvements needed in the current state of the laboratory to sustain the 5S system. Without improvements, the 5S system and lean laboratory foundation probability of failure becomes elevated. If the rating is high, then the current laboratory is well suited to reinforce, continually improve, and sustain the 5S system long term; therefore, setting up a strong foundation for further lean laboratory systems and tools.
Following the industrial laboratory evaluation of the ADKAR change management elements, with respect to the 5S system changes that are planned, the 5S practitioner gains a greater understanding of the current laboratory's status for implementing and sustaining 5S system changes. The 5S practitioner can now better plan and communicate the 5S changes, and can move on to improving the ADKAR elements that are lacking strength; as a result, developing and planning for a positive and successful 5S system change initiative.
Raising Awareness of the Value of 5S
It is important for the 5S practitioner to be in congruence with the company management and laboratory leadership about the message to be communicated to laboratory employees. Awareness is the ADKAR element stressing the importance of making laboratory employees aware of the value of the 5S changes to be made. The change leadership should understand the changes to be made from the 5S system implementation, and how 5S changes align with the laboratory and company objectives. The changes that the 5S system offers need to be understood in terms of the importance of the changes to the laboratory, and why the laboratory can continue to lag in functionality and performance without 5S improvements. Change leadership should also understand how laboratory customers, internal and external, and laboratory employees are going to be affected with the coming 5S changes. If change leadership is not on the same page to the planned change details and what the 5S changes can bring, then employees affected by the change are going to detect the dissention and friction within the change leadership. If employees affected by the change do not feel that change leadership is cohesive in the changes to be made, then awareness communication struggles.
Once the 5S changes are understood and agreed upon by change leadership, it is time to build awareness for the 5S changes to be implemented. The first step to building awareness is to have a strong communication plan for the 5S changes that are coming and why they are valued. There are many ways to communicate to the laboratory employees on the planned 5S changes, and some of those which can be affective in a laboratory setting are:
A management sponsorship meeting to explain the importance of 5S to the laboratory employees, and communicate the 5S value to the laboratory while providing real life examples of success within the industry.
A departmental meeting with laboratory leadership and laboratory employees on the importance of 5S to the quality of the laboratory.
One on one meetings between 5S practitioner and laboratory employees to discuss the plan and the strengths of the 5S system, and engage laboratory personnel for addressing individual concerns.
Email updates on 5S changes and the positive outcomes expected.
Posters and 5S communication documents that build up awareness of the planned changes, and promote the reasons and importance of the 5S system on the laboratory.
The communication opportunities listed above should be thorough and complete with statistical information supporting the changes in respect with the objectives of the laboratory. Evidence should explain how the 5S changes concern the laboratory employees personally; furthermore, clarifying the expectations of each employee and the importance of the team in supporting the 5S changes.
The second step to building awareness to the 5S changes is to have upper management support the planned 5S changes. Support is achieved through upper management participation in laboratory meetings, providing direct correspondence with the laboratory employees on the importance of 5S changes, and listening to the laboratory personnel on their concerns and opinions. Having upper management and business leaders involved, enhances the awareness of the importance 5S can have on the laboratory and promotes its vitality to the affected laboratory employees.
The third step to building awareness to the 5S changes is to promote laboratory leadership communication via laboratory departmental meetings and face to face private conversations with each laboratory employee. In many instances, the 5S practitioner is the laboratory leader or supervisor, so it is important for the laboratory leader to address individual concerns and help laboratory employees understand how they influence and are influenced by the 5S system implementation.
The fourth step to building awareness to the 5S changes is to allow laboratory employees access to the appropriate information and statistics that brought on the need for 5S changes. This information helps fuel the importance of successfully making the laboratory 5S compatible and sustainable. The upper management and laboratory leadership need to share the business and financial data that initiated the 5S changes. This disclosure includes data and benchmarking of leading industry laboratories having successfully achieved the 5S changes. Following the previous steps can strengthen the awareness for the 5S system for needed laboratory improvements, and allow the 5S practitioner to move onto the desire element of the ADKAR model.
Creating Desire for 5S Implementation
Once the awareness of the 5S changes have been raised to an acceptable level, it is then necessary to create the desire for 5S. Desire is the element of the ADKAR change management model where the 5S practitioner and leadership need to build enthusiasm and collaboration for implementing the 5S system into the laboratory. The desire element is crucial to successful and sustainable change. The laboratory employees being affected by the 5S system need to feel the planned changes can benefit them as far as laboratory functioning and work environment, and most importantly job satisfaction and moral.
The first step to creating desire is to continue the sponsorship of the 5S system by upper management and change leadership. Laboratory employees need to continue experiencing the upper management support, for the 5S changes, that has been developed in the awareness element of the ADKAR change management model. If upper management sponsorship dwindles from the awareness element, then employees may feel the 5S changes are not as important as first emphasized. Sponsorship deterioration leads to lost energy and enthusiasm built from the awareness element, and the desire for change will not be sufficient enough to provide a strong and successful implementation of the 5S system. It will be important for the 5S practitioner to encourage continuous 5S sponsorship from upper management and inform them of the influence they have on the success and sustainability of the 5S system.
Along with upper management sponsorship, laboratory leadership, and laboratory employees, the 5S practitioner needs to continue to build a coalition for making the 5S changes. To build the coalition for 5S, the 5S practitioner needs to keep communication flowing at all levels involved in the 5S changes. Upper management sponsorship needs to keep communicating the vision of the 5S changes to the laboratory, and absorbing the concerns and ideas those laboratory employees may like to share. Getting communication from upper management and laboratory employees to flow throughout the change implementation and continuously after the changes have taken place will decrease resistance to change. Creating desire is essentially the 5S practitioner building cooperation, teamwork, and enthusiasm through effective communication.
A second step to creating desire for change is to provide managers the ability to perform as change leaders. Laboratory leadership and supervisors must be capable of communicating effectively and should develop cross communication with the laboratory employees. Once the upper management is away from the laboratory environment, laboratory employees may continue to express concerns and ideas for the planned changes. Laboratory employees may even feel more comfortable communicating with their direct supervisor than with upper management. Direct leadership and supervision need to continue to build momentum for the planned 5S changes, and relate to the laboratory employees in one on one conversation. It is important to engage employees in the planned changes and give them a voice. Laboratory leadership should be good listeners and look for barriers to the 5S changes; meanwhile, finding ways to remove the barriers, decrease employee resistance, and develop laboratory employee ownership to the 5S changes.
To help promote desire for change, laboratory leadership and supervisors should have good negotiating skills. They must be given the needed authority to clearly lay out the consequences and make laboratory employees accountable for their actions towards making the 5S changes successful. One beneficial action for the laboratory leadership to take is to determine the laboratory employee with the most resistance, and convert him or her into an employee who is positive about the 5S changes to be implemented. Converting a highly resistant employee can be very positive into promoting enthusiasm throughout the laboratory department. Laboratory employees witnessing a conversion from a previously resistant employee can transform reluctant employees to supportive employees.
Additional steps can now be taken by the 5S practitioner and laboratory leadership to effectively appraise the risks to a successful 5S implementation, and mitigate the resistance from these risks. Two affective tools to accomplish appraisal are to review the 5S change, and predict the change readiness of the laboratory. It is recommended to first evaluate how the 5S system may affect the laboratory by answering inquisitive questions about the changes. This appraisal is additional to the previous planning evaluation of the ADKAR elements. Change review questions are:
What is the scope of the 5S change?
How are the laboratory employees going to be affected?
How are the laboratory customers going to be affected?
Is this change going to be complex or simple?
How may laboratory job activities change? Is there going to be needed equipment changes or technology changes?
How long should it take to make the laboratory 5S compatible?
The next tool is the change readiness prediction, which also requires answering questions about the laboratory's capability to change, like:
How have laboratory employees reacted to planned changes in the past?
What is the environment of the laboratory in respect to changes, and is the laboratory environment static or dynamic?
How have passed changes been managed, and what lessens were learned from past laboratory quality initiatives?
Are resources available for making the proper 5S changes?
How is the current laboratory culture going to influence planned changes, and are employees open or closed minded when it comes to continuous improvement initiatives?
Is there a strong recognition program currently operating in the laboratory, or is there a need to develop one for promoting the employees' convergence on 5S milestones?
Once the 5S practitioner has created a high level of desire by minimalizing employee resistance, mitigating barriers, and building enthusiasm, it is time to move on to the next ADKAR element of knowledge.
Developing Knowledge for
Following the ADKAR change model, awareness for the need for change has been communicated and desire by the employees is high for the 5S changes to be successfully implemented. The knowledge element of the ADKAR model is the change step of providing the laboratory employees with the training and information needed to understand 5S and how to implement each of the five steps of 5S.
The first step to developing knowledge of 5S is to build an effective 5S education training system. It's important to determine the 5S knowledge gaps by comparing the current laboratory environment to where the employees are expected to perform once 5S has been implemented. To get a clear determination of existing gaps, laboratory job descriptions must be updated to reflect the job tasks and responsibilities that are expected once the 5S changes have been standardized. Comparing the new and previous job descriptions, gap analysis can be performed to enhance training development.
Once the gap analysis is complete, a 5S training program needs to be developed. It is important for laboratory leadership and the 5S practitioner to determine if they have the capability to effectively train laboratory employees on the 5S system. Effectiveness may require the hiring of a 5S consultant to implement this training. Laboratory leadership and the 5S practitioner may feel confident enough to purchase the necessary training packages and train the laboratory employees. Training not only requires the proper training material and teacher, but adequate time must be available to thoroughly train the laboratory employees. 5S training should be performed as close to the 5S change implementation steps as possible in order for employees to retain and efficiently apply their 5S knowledge. Training and then waiting to apply the knowledge can hurt the laboratory employees' ability to have a successful 5S implementation. It is also crucial to make the 5S training program part of the new hire laboratory employee orientation.
The second step is to train the employees. Training should start in a classroom setting with a 5S consultant, or the 5S practitioner and a 5S training package obtained from a 5S supply company. The whole 5S program should be taught to all the laboratory employees; accordingly, covering each of the five steps of 5S. It will be beneficial for 5S practitioners to have valuable learning material including informational documents, visual aids, and hands on demonstrations to strengthen the 5S learning experience. To enhance the learning experience, the laboratory employees should be able to tell and show the 5S practitioners how to implement the first three S's of the 5S system on a disorganized mock laboratory setting. Mock training provides the laboratory employees with practical experience and opportunities for the 5S practitioner to individually coach each laboratory employee through the first three 5S steps of sort, set in order, and shine.
Training should involve group discussion, individual coaching, and training tools and aids. Enhanced training provides maximum 5S learning, and builds on the desire to put the training into action. Once the laboratory employees are competent and comfortable with the 5S system, it is time to move on to the next element of the ADKAR change model of ability, and implement the system.
Fostering the Ability to Implement 5S
Following the knowledge element, fostering the ability to change is the next element of the ADKAR change management model in implementing the 5S system. With a strong training program, the laboratory employees should have a good understanding of the changes expected in the laboratory, and how the system is to be maintained using daily activities and accountability. Possessing the 5S knowledge and actually deploying the knowledge is the deciding factor of the ability element; in summary, it is the capability of laboratory employees putting the 5S system to work. This situation is where the ADKAR change management model comes into play. It helps foster the ability to change by providing a structure to obtain successful 5S quality initiative change in the laboratory. Four strategies to fostering ability are:
Support the 5S change through daily supervisor involvement.
Provide expert advice in lean 5S material.
Appraise performance in 5S Implementation.
Involve employees in 5S training exercises (Hiatt, 2006).
The first strategy is to have the laboratory leader or supervisor involved with each individual laboratory employee; specifically, providing support, coaching, and collecting feedback on the 5S implementation process. Leadership involvement enhances the implementation process, and helps decisions be made in a timely manner; meanwhile, maintaining employee engagement and desire previously built. Involved laboratory supervisors or leaders can keep the communication venue open, and provide laboratory employees a sense of ownership and cooperation without feelings of retribution for implementation mistakes. It's beneficial for laboratory supervisors to assess their laboratory employees and understand that each employee may not have the same abilities in regards to 5S implementation. Employees may perform better at different steps of the 5S system, and supervisors should coach those that struggle and provide support.
The next strategy to improve the laboratory employees' ability to implement the 5S system is to provide expert advice. The 5S practitioner should be available to the laboratory personnel at a regular basis to provide subject matter support, and help laboratory employees make the correct decisions when performing each step of the 5S system. If the 5S practitioner is not experienced enough in the 5S system, it will be important to provide expert advice to the employees either online, phone, or in person. 5S Experts can help employees and laboratory leaders find outcomes to puzzling issues during the 5S implementation and beyond.
The third strategy is appraising the performance of the employees during the 5S implementation. Appraisal is crucial in fostering the ability of the laboratory employees to successfully put each 5S step in place. Monitoring the progress of laboratory employees as the 5S implementation advances keeps the 5S practitioner and laboratory leadership accustomed to how the 5S laboratory is transforming. Appraising the performance keeps the communication open amongst the 5S team, and provides the 5S practitioner and laboratory leader the opportunity to make needed adjustments to keep the implementation process on track. Appraisal is also an opportunity to provide positive feedback to the laboratory employees and continue the strong desire previously built. Without feedback from the 5S practitioner and laboratory leadership, employees may not be sure if their results are warranted or if they are off track. This approach also provides the chance for laboratory employees to share their concerns and opinions with the 5S practitioner and laboratory leadership to improve conditions and keep the 5S implementation process positive and on track. Without measuring the 5S implementation periodically, the 5S implementation team will not know how well or poor they are performing. The success of the 5S system implementation needs process monitoring to insure the ability is strong enough for implementation success.
The fourth strategy to foster ability in making the 5S changes is to provide employee involvement in continual training exercises for 5S implementation. It is not enough for the laboratory employees to read and receive instruction on the 5S system, but hands on training exercises can provide valuable involvement in the 5S steps, and should continue from the knowledge element. Providing sample areas or setup environments for laboratory employees to practice their 5S knowledge helps laboratory employees visualize and understand the nuances of the 5S system. Actually performing 5S steps on a mock environment can also provide the laboratory employees with intuitive questions, and help them lower anxiety by actually experiencing the 5S system.
Fostering the ability for laboratory employees to implement the 5S system changes is extremely important as knowledge is not enough to make the changes happen. There needs to be a strong environment in place to provide support and answer questions accompanied by enhancing the 5S implementation through strong communication, teamwork, and resources to put the 5S knowledge into action. Fostering the ability provides a strong start to the 5S system, and strengthens the system's potential to be enduring.
Reinforcing the 5S System
Reinforcing the 5S changes is extremely important to provide a solid lean foundation and sustain the 5S system long term. Reinforcement should occur during and after each 5S step, and not just at conclusion of the whole 5S system implementation. The first reinforcement approach is to celebrate and recognize laboratory employees for their hard work and for reaching 5S system implementation milestones. Each step of the 5S system implementation should be appreciated as a milestone in the change process. Laboratory supervisors and leaders along with change sponsors, such as upper management, should be the initiators of employee recognition and laboratory department celebration. It's beneficial to keep the desire for change at a high level where it was initially or even higher. Laboratory leaders and change sponsors can be a catalyst for keeping the desire strong. Employees should respond in a positive approach to 5S implementation changes when employees are appreciated for their work, and for following the 5S implementation game plan. With 5S implementation occurring in five steps, it is important for laboratory leadership and change sponsors to thank each laboratory employee personally at each 5S step conclusion, even if the steps merge into each other periodically. Laboratory acknowledgment should take place at the end of the 5S implementation, and following satisfactory 5S system audits and continuous improvement initiatives to the 5S system. Acknowledgement should be in the form of a group activity celebrating 5S system successes and improvements.
Along with recognition and celebration, a second approach of a laboratory reward system would be beneficial to supporting successful implementation of the 5S system into the laboratory. Offering a reward periodically to the laboratory employees is the second approach to promoting sustainability of the 5S system. Rewards can be given at the initial successful implementation of the five steps of 5S, and continuously after each satisfactory system audit and quality improvement initiative. Rewards are appropriate when they are used to promote satisfactory actions and performance, and positively reinforce these actions and continue the employee excitement for the 5S system success.
A third approach to reinforcing the 5S system changes is to continually listen to the laboratory employees and engage them in one on one conversation, and hold laboratory departmental meetings to periodically receive 5S system feedback from the employees. Continuing the 5S conversation after its successful implementation provides opportunities to learn how the system is operating, how the employees' view the system, and if there are any opportunities to continually improve the system and keep it sustainable.
A fourth important approach is to perform internal 5S system audits and develop a performance measurement system. System audits and a performance measurement system quantifies the system progress, and determines if the 5S system is working as planned, or if additional quality improvement initiatives need to be implemented. In developing an audit and performance measurement system, the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle is beneficial and provides the framework for continuous 5S system improvement. Initially the 5S practitioner, change sponsor, and laboratory leadership should use the PDSA cycle to develop an audit criteria and system metrics that can provide the needed data for 5S system analysis. Once the audit criteria and metrics are determined and measurable, the audit and performance measurement should be executed by the laboratory leadership.
After the 5S system analysis is complete, the data and measurements should be studied and analyzed to determine the 5S system health and performance. With detailed and thorough 5S system analysis through audits and metrics, the laboratory leadership and 5S practitioner can act on the system performance. Laboratory leadership can either continue 5S in its present state following an exemplary analysis, or offer system improvement initiatives to build up the system short comings succeeding unsatisfactory performance.
5S system accountability is a fifth approach to reinforcing the 5S system changes for long term sustainability. Laboratory employees, including leadership, need to be held accountable for their 5S system changes and standard performance. Individual performance standards need to be established as a performance measurement in job performance annual appraisals. With 5S accountability measures and expectations made part of job approval ratings, standards are set for laboratory employees and leadership. Accountability to the 5S system performance in the lab sends a message to the employees and leadership that upper management is serious about the success and sustainability of the 5S system and employee performance. Accountability is crucial and expected for long term sustainability and satisfactory performance.
As described in the section of 5S system internal auditing and performance measurement, the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle should also be used to develop the tactics included in the ADKAR reinforcement element of the 5S system. When utilizing the PDSA cycle, a change reinforcement plan can be developed to include 5S system employee recognition, laboratory celebration, rewards program, and the accountability standards. Each reinforcement method can follow the structure of the PDSA cycle to develop its plan, implement the methods, evaluate each reinforcement method, and determine whether the reinforcement element is working as planned or if it needs further improvement. The PDSA cycle provides the 5S practitioner and laboratory leadership with a simple and much needed structure to continually evaluate, improve, and sustain the 5S system, and maintain the foundation to a lean industrial laboratory. Figure 1 provides a visual display of how the ADKAR change management model manages the macro change of the 5S system implementation into the laboratory, and how the PDSA continuous improvement cycle provides the process to manage the micro changes to the reinforcement element for continually improving the 5S system for sustainability.
Micro changes: use the PDSA cycle to plan, implement, measure, and improve the reinforcement element of ADKAR for 5S system sustainability.
Macro change: use ADKAR to plan, implement, and sustain the lean laboratory system.
Figure 1. Illustrates 5S Implementation through ADKAR Change Management and PDSA Continuous Improvement, showing how the 5S system culture change progresses using the ADKAR change management model, and how the PDSA cycle is used in reference with the ADKAR model.
The purpose of this thesis is to first examine the major problems associated with sustaining 5S to provide insight into why companies fail with sustaining 5S. The second purpose is to understand which steps of the 5S system cause the failures to occur. The third purpose is to provide knowledge to quality professionals and lab management for heightened understanding of 5S implementation failure and development of a successful and sustainable 5S implementation. Industrial laboratories looking to implement the lean 5S system would benefit from understanding the 5S system as a culture change in a laboratory, and realizing that change management principles and continuous improvement are key to having a strong sustainable 5S system in an industrial laboratory.
Through research it was shown that 5S failure happens for key reasons of:
Lack of upper management support for the 5S system,
Lack of resources, especially time,
Employee resistance to changing the laboratory culture and implementing 5S.
The underlying root causes to the reasons for 5S sustainability failure are viewing 5S as a housekeeping activity or short term quality tool, lack of planning, and not instituting a change management structure for building an atmosphere that is receptive to laboratory culture change.
Understanding at which step of the 5S system fails most often is also important for laboratory leadership to understand for improving 5S sustainability. The most common step for failing 5S is the last step of sustain. Sustain is the discipline step of keeping the 5S system continually growing and becoming the new culture in the industrial laboratory. The failure of the sustain step is more complex when viewing 5S as a culture change, and failure is caused by some major issues. The major issues are the planning and pre-training activities along with the reinforcement and continuous improvement once the 5S system is in place.
Throughout this thesis, evidence and discussion is provided concerning the root causes of 5S failure throughout industry. The problem statement of, can the implementation of a change management model and continual improvement cycle provide the structure for sustainable 5S in a QC laboratory culture?, was answered by producing real industry data on failure of 5S systems, and providing evidence that 5S is more than housekeeping and should be viewed as laboratory culture change. Also strengthening the defense of the problem statement was presenting change management principles from experienced authors and industry best practices on implementing change; for example, evaluation of the laboratory culture and reduction of employee resistance to change.
Through this thesis research an industrial laboratory looking to implement and sustain the lean 5S system would benefit from the following points of interest:
Do not view 5S as a simple housekeeping or quality tool. Even though the five step structure looks simple, the concept is more complicated and culturally sophisticated.
5S is a dynamic system of continual growth, and constitutes a laboratory culture change to be effective long term.
Because 5S system complexity towards changing a laboratory culture is inherent to the 5S system, a change management model, such as ADKAR, provides the proper planning, evaluation, and structure for successful 5S implementation and, most importantly, sustainability.
Do not lose focus on 5S being a dynamic system; therefore, keep reinforcing the changes in place by using the continuous improvement cycle of PDSA for planning, implementing, evaluating, and continually improving the 5S system for long term sustainability and ultimate laboratory culture change.
Successful and sustainable lean 5S is the foundation to lean laboratory. Once 5S is sustaining, additional lean laboratory systems can be implemented with a much higher success rate as employee resistance is low due to the initial success of lean 5S and an improved laboratory culture.
To determine the answer to the problem statement of, can the implementation of a change management model and continual improvement cycle provide the structure for sustainable 5S in an industrial QC laboratory culture?, then the answers to the secondary questions lead the way. Firstly, should 5S be viewed as a laboratory culture change? Research shows that 5S success and sustainability improve when viewed as a culture change in the laboratory, and not just a training session or simple housekeeping event. Successful 5S is a change to a laboratory's operating functions, daily activities, and standard operating procedures. Laboratory employees need to go through a transition from wasteful and inefficient to lean and efficient. Transition entails changing individuals' habits and standards, and for some it may be substantial depending on their time in the inefficient environments. To have a lasting and sustainable impact with 5S standards, the laboratory department needs a comprehensive culture change that can be structured with the ADKAR change management model.
Another important secondary question answered through this thesis research is, can evaluating the laboratory culture help improve on sustaining 5S? Thoroughly evaluating the culture of the industrial laboratory using the ADKAR evaluation model can enlighten the 5S practitioner on how excepting laboratory employees are to 5S changes, and how well the laboratory department is structured to implement and sustain the 5S system. Evaluating the laboratory department as a function of each ADKAR element (awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement) provides the 5S practitioner with strategic insight on how to plan and prepare the 5S implementation. Properly managed ADKAR elements should result in enthusiastic and engaged laboratory employees, and a laboratory operating structure to support the 5S system during and following implementation. Evaluating the laboratory culture is extremely beneficial in planning, team development, and 5S operation. Culture evaluation with the ADKAR framework provides the planning details that many 5S practitioners fail to gather prior to their 5S implementations; consequently, through research this oversight was determined to cause many of the 5S failures.
The final secondary question answered through research and helping answer the problem statement of this thesis is, how does employee engagement and leadership influence the 5S change? Explained in this thesis is the fact that many 5S practitioners fail at implementing and sustaining the 5S system changes, because practitioners do not involve employees in the planning and decision making of the 5S departmental changes. Many failed 5S systems are the result of pushing the system on to the employees without any employee input or engagement. Research proves that employees impacted by the changes are more cooperative and enthusiastic when their voice is heard and they feel involved in the change process. Employee engagement is crucial to 5S implementation and sustainability, because engagement breaks down the 5S change resistance and builds a positive and enthusiastic environment. Engagement strengthens a 5S implementation team and encourages collaboration during the planned 5S changes. Engaged employees build cooperative teams, and cooperative teams work and communicate at a much higher level than forced uninformed change teams. Research also provides data to prove that strong leadership and upper management change sponsors are important to creating significance for 5S changes towards the aspect of business and laboratory success. Employees who see leaders promoting the 5S changes get a sense of how important 5S can be to the laboratory and company success. Change leadership and sponsorship also helps deplete employee resistance to change and works directly with employee engagement. Leadership enthusiasm and communication with laboratory employees should help build team morale and excitement of the 5S system into the industrial laboratory. On the other hand, disengaged leaders and minimal sponsorship from upper management kills 5S change enthusiasm that a 5S practitioner is trying to develop. The ADKAR change management evaluation can provide the 5S practitioner with the structure and planning tool to determine the gaps in employee engagement and leader sponsorship, and also highlight the work needed to fill these gaps for successful awareness and desire for change
Can the implementation of a change management model and continual improvement cycle provide the structure for sustainable 5S in an industrial QC laboratory culture? This is the problem statement of this thesis, and through the research discussed and secondary questions answered this problem statement was resolved. Yes, the lean 5S system in an industrial QC laboratory culture can be sustainable with the use of a change management model and a continual improvement cycle. The change management model of ADKAR was proven to be an important structure for successfully implementing change. Each element of the ADKAR change management model builds off of the previous element to plan changes, build enthusiasm, decrease resistance, train employees, and sustain the 5S system in the laboratory. As this thesis makes clear, many 5S departmental changes have failed in industry because of insufficient leadership support, employee resistance, inefficient communication and planning, deficient resources, and lack of continued support and change reinforcement. A change management model such as ADKAR can provide the 5S practitioner with the structure needed for sustainable 5S in the laboratory. The ADKAR model conveys information on evaluating the laboratory prior to planning for developing a gap analysis, and showing the weak aspects of the laboratory culture that need to be strengthened. The ADKAR model breaks down the change plan into five understandable elements, and has been proven to develop a change pathway that is much smoother and successful for 5S implementation compared to jumping right into 5S training and forcing the change onto laboratory employees.
Continual improvement is a key element for any quality system, and to have a quality and sustainable 5S system in an industrial QC laboratory there must be a continual improvement element. ADKAR reinforcement delivers a tactical system for continual improvement, and the PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) cycle provides the structure for developing, implementing, measuring, and continually improving the reinforcement element of the 5S system for long term sustainability. 5S is a change to the culture of an inefficiently operating laboratory, and for a 5S practitioner to improve this inefficiency it requires a proven change management plan and a strong continuous improvement structure. 5S is not housekeeping, and if it was then the failure rate would be lower, and industry 5S sustainability more apparent. 5S requires habitual change, teamwork, management support, and enthusiastic laboratory employees because the employees are the ones affected by the 5S changes. Laboratory employees need to be part of the solution and not the blame for past inefficiencies; therefore, utilizing the ADKAR change management model to evaluate, plan, and implement the 5S changes results in employees who are aware of the need for change, and who desire and lead the change. Once the 5S changes have been implemented by the enthusiastic laboratory employees, then the 5S system can be continually strengthened through ADKAR reinforcement with the use of the PDSA continuous improvement cycle for long lasting sustainability.