Saturday, 25 July 2009

5S Kaizen in Software Engineering: Part II Seiton

Today's entry is Seiton (usual English translation to Straighten) and it can be summed up neatly as:
“A place for everything and everything in its place”
Remembering the three resources categories from yesterday, we can apply Seiton in three main areas:
  1. Organise the physical workplace: organise bookshelves for quick reference and a library for less frequently used texts; provide a whiteboard/flip-chart per area; make up test equipment trolleys that can be move wholesale between workstations; make sure everyone has a patched Ethernet connection for remote test equipment; make sure everyone has a phone; ring-fence critical testing equipment.
  2. Organise software resources: re-organise source code where necessary; create a repository for pooled test data and automated methods for using it; create automatic installation of developer resources (debugger, scripting languages etc. and standard environment settings); provide getting started guides for everything; create and enforce coding standards and best practices.
  3. Organise our project management resources: pool and organise pre-existing and ongoing process documentation; provide centralised resources for tracking effort and cost (e.g. time sheets); visibly display up-to-date project management data for all interested parties to see (physically and electronically).
This is probably on of the easiest aspects of 5S to understand: the basic mantra is to be in control of your working environment and know where everything is and how to use it effectively at all times.

The next topic is Seiso, or Shine. Same place, same time tomorrow (unless I get a lie in).

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