By Jon Miller | Post Date: February 11, 2010 2:26 PM | Comments: 3
Over the past week we have been chipping away at some office kaizen at the Gemba Research office near Seattle. The major activities so far have included a layout change, some 5S and other small improvements. In the 6 years that we have been in this space we have rearranged the layout 10 times. This was our 11th layout kaizen. The picture above shows the before (left) and after (right) kaizen layout.
The moves of the desks (yellow boxes), and bookshelves (dotted line rectangles) were completed in minutes or seconds each, quick changeover-style, thanks to their mobile design. We built all of our furniture with the exception of the black rectangle (desk) and filing cabinets from pipe and joint material. Everything (with the exception of the black desk) is on wheels, easy to move by hand.
The space is about 16 feet by 32 feet. We moved the furniture into the lower half of the layout in order to consolidate and create open space. One storage unit (red box on layout above) was made redundant. Moving the book shelf from the middle of the office to the top of the layout diagram allowed us to store books on both sides, library stack-style, making better use of the depth of the shelf. The book shelf on the top right now has free space and is currently being used as a red tag item area. In the future this book shelf may become redundant or house other useful items.
We freed up about 30% of the space and created a nice open area. The photo below shows it filled with plastic bins and boxes but this because we moved them temporarily in from storage to this area so we can sort through them. Ideas for the future use of this space include a wall-to-wall white board, ping pong table, or the future home of the Seattle Lean Salon (anyone?).
The extra bookshelf space, and the good excuse to do some 5S has given us a chance to go through boxes in storage from 4-5 years ago. Much paper has been put in the recycling, and eight plastic bins have been made available for record storage. Our four filing cabinets are stuffed full, so these bins will come in handy as we target them for the next round of 5S activity.
As a bonus, we found some old reference materials and documents that were in storage and had been forgotten. I will share interesting bits from this in the weeks to come. For a taste, here are some scribbled notes from James Womack's day-long keynote speech in Seattle in 2004 (or maybe 2005) during the Kent Chamber of Commerce lean manufacturing seminar.
James Womack quoting Taiichi Ohno on lean, "No one ever does this stuff unless they are desperate."
According to my notes the day covered lean accounting, policy deployment, value stream mapping at various levels, the role of the manager, the role of the CEO in addition to all of the gems above. Going through old files has never been so rewarding.
More work remains to be done. Kaizen never ends. Here are some of the problems I saw as a result of this latest office layout kaizen at Gemba.
There is a kaizen newspaper with a list of 12 actions on the wall. I am sure the list will grow before we complete them all.Comments are moderated to filter spam and inappropriate content. There may be a delay before your comment is published.