Well, it is nearly the end of 2012. Back in January, we declared this the year of housekeeping.
How did you do? Progress?
As we have stated many times, housekeeping starts with you. At the very least, it starts in the vehicle you drive to work. Then it continues in your personal workspace. From there it spreads to all within your domain. I have only found one case in forty years where I could not predict the overall general performance of the mill by casually observing the housekeeping. In that one case, there was an extraordinary leader leading an extraordinary team.
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At this time of the year, many things slow down. The hectic pace of the rest of the year diminishes. It is an excellent time to start or improve your housekeeping.
Let's review the criteria. In your personal workspace, when you are ready for housekeeping inspection, it goes something like this. Your measuring tool? A coffee cup. Your measuring instrument? A flashlight. Start with the walls. Scour the walls with the flashlight up against them. You are using it to cast shadows of nails, picture hangers and other such items that might be difficult to see otherwise. Find any--pull them out and put them in the cup. Next, look around the room and pick up anything that is older than 1 month. Put these items in the cup. Then, pull all the drawers completely out of your desk, credenza, file cabinets, and so forth. Take the flashlight and look in the cavities where the drawers were. You are looking for pens, papers and so forth that slopped over the edge of the drawers at one time or another. Next, empty all the drawers. Return to the drawers only items that you have used in the last three months. Put everything else in the cup. Personal trinkets and so forth around your space? That is something of a personal call, but I can tell you if I walk in someone's office and it is plastered with artifacts and pictures of things they do on their own time, I pretty much know where their head is when they are on the company's time and it is not good. Done? Did you have less than a cup full of items that do not belong? You pass the physical test. But we have not gotten to your computer--we'll save that for another time.
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In the mill or plant the criteria is the same except the measuring device is different. For each operating floor, you will go through with a flashlight, every surface, floor-to-ceiling. Nothing that will not be used in the next four weeks should be in the space being examined. There should be no cobwebs. When you get done, you should not have more than a five gallon buck full of debris.
We did several shows on housekeeping on Pulp & Paper Radio International during the year. Here are links to Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3.
For our quiz this week, we'll simply ask you how you did this year. You may take it here.
And, for safety this week, I am repeating myself, but you know you can't get injured on something that doesn't exist. Housekeeping and safety are closely linked.
Be safe and we will talk next week. Have a safe and happy holiday season.