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5S project conducted by IQPM at OPA

The SLSQC (Sri Lanka Society for Quality Control), the predecessor of IQPM had been conducting quality related training programmes as a part of its ongoing activities in keeping with its objectives. It also offered to provide such training to other professional associations of the OPA because they could benefit by programmes like 5S, Six Sigma or even programmes on management of quality, environment, work safety etc. 

The then president of the OPA suggested that the benefit of the offer should first be given to the OPA office staff and invited the SLSQC to conduct a programme on 5S for the OPA Office.   The SLSQC readily agreed to offer its services free of charge to the OPA.

 It was after some time (latter part of 2014), that the work really got off the ground. This was possible because Mr S G Punchihewa, a life member of SLSQC and a senior officer of the Sri Lanka Standards Institution with much experience on 5S, volunteered to train the OPA staff on 5S. The training was provided to the entire staff of the OPA and the staff members themselves proposed many improvements on housekeeping in the office premises, stores, restaurant and bar. Some of the major improvements made were as follows.

  1. Archiving of many documents not directly related to the work of the current year: files and accounts books over two years, journals and news-letters stored on office tables etc. A new record room was set up in the third floor of the office for this purpose
  2. Transferring all personal items left on office tables to lockers and unusable and unwanted hardware items to stores
  3. Arrangement of office items and documents for easy retrieval within two minutes
  4. Numbering and neatly stacking all box files in such a manner to facilitate easy identification and retrieval
  5. Numbering of keys and placing on keyboard in order
  6. Marking of light switches to prevent waste of time and electricity
  7. Standardization of notices (including those appearing on Magi-boards), documents on display etc, so that a uniform system was adopted. National / international standards were adopted in respect of writing calendar dates, time and abbreviations.

After a lapse of several months, an audit on the 5S System was conducted in August 2015 to examine any shortcomings so that corrective action could be taken to improve the system. The auditors were Mr N B Ranatunge, Secretary and Mr Upali Gamakumara, Vice President of IQPM. It was revealed that much of the enthusiasm shown by the staff at the time of commencement of the 5S programme had diminished by the time the audit was held.

A report was made by the President of IQPM and submitted to the OPA President, on the audit findings shortly afterwards. It is now the responsibility of the staff to look into the shortcomings reported and take corrective action. The IQPM would be glad to assist the staff in this regard.