BY ROMAINE NICHOLAS
Oh, the Japanese 5S! Needless to say, we people of “Finance” were not famous with things that came out of Japan-except, of course, if they had wheels! After all, the Finance Department had far too many documents to even begin thinking about implementing something with a name we couldn’t even pronounce! Skeptical of the task that we were entrusted with, the induction programme didn’t do much to allay our fears, either-the filing systems were far too meticulous (yes, we did have a filing system earlier, but most of it was in our heads)!
So the first step we took was to form a steering committee to formulate a course of action, stipulating strict deadlines and planning a filing system for the entire division to ensure uniformity across our sub-departments. A colour coding system was introduced to help differentiate each of the sub-departments, and the archiving procedure was decided as per the nature of work of each department.
It was then that the real action started! The filing system required a lot of effort and many a weekend and evening with our families were sacrificed to complete each of these stages. However, the cohesiveness and sense of responsibility everyone displayed helped us complete everything well before the stipulated deadlines.
The first 5S audit was an anxious moment for us! The look of sheer surprise on the faces of the audit team spoke volumes-a member even tried (unsuccessfully) to find a speck of dust in at least one workstation! Hearing that the turn-around in the Finance division was remarkable just added to our satisfaction of a job well done! It’s with a sense of pride that we can now survey the orderliness of our department. And looking back, win or lose, the ‘oneness’ we gained by working together and aiming to achieve a common goal was really reward in itself!
2007 – Ace Magazine Issue 3