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Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Do you ever walk into a store and know at a glance where to find what you need? Do you notice that seemingly long lines can often move really quickly? Do you find yourself wondering why things don’t go horribly wrong more often? Lean Six Sigma is at work!

Mistake-proofing, visual clues, ergonomics and more. Take a look around you when you walk into any space – a retail shop, an outdoor concert, someone’s kitchen. What makes it work?

Whether you realize it or not, Lean Six Sigma is everywhere. You can find it in your home, at the airport, in hotels or your garage. Wherever you go Lean Six Sigma keeps processes flowing, keeps us from making mistakes and helps us as we navigate the world at large.

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Have you seen Lean Six Sigma in action while out and about or at home?

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The Montreal Airport wants to know what you think of their restrooms so they made it easy to give your opinion – Visual Voice of the Customer!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Montreal Airport VOC - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Kelvin Tanjuakio

The Pearl Harbor Navy Exchange commissary in Oahu makes life easy – A visual board lights up to let you know which cash register is ready and there’s a friendly voice giving shoppers an extra clue. Island living with a Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: NEX Next Sign - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Julius Pecson

Pick a number and watch the queue – The Hawaiian Department of Motor Vehicles is a Visual Workplace with a sunshine bonus!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: DMV Hawaii - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Anna Comia

This Monthly Material Log turns red when it’s time to order resin. Visual Management for Plastic Mold Technology!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Plastic Mold Technology Monthly Materials Log - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Michelle Kidder

Anyone from anywhere knows what a stop sign means. The color red is yet another visual clue of what not to do. This well-designed warning saves a lot of wasted transportation. Mistake-Proofing to the rescue!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Do Not Return Sign - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

How about a Visual Play Space for kids? If they know what goes in the basket, maybe they’ll help clean up! Maybe…

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Toy Basket - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

No need for poles with floppy ropes to show shoppers where to line up. A simple line on the floor turns Best Buy into a Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Best Buy Line - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

The oceans are blue, and so are the water cups at this forward-thinking restaurant. Color-coded Mistake-Proofing keeps water out of the Sprite – and Sprite out of the water!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Blue Cups - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Anna Comia

The Job Board makes this family’s Work Day happen. Having a Kanban Board means no need for a foreman. Just look at the board, see what needs doing and heave a sigh of relief at what’s been “Done!”

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Work Day Kanban - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

The hole-puncher and some colored paper provide keyboard shortcut reminders. Emails and calendar events are instantly categorized on this “Visual” keyboard.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Visual Keyboard - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Lynne Emmons

Thanks to all of you who contributed to this year’s “Lean Six Sigma is Everywhere” post. Check out the best images of 2017 in Mistake-Proofing, Visual Management, the Visual Workplace and more!

Did you know you could taste Mistake-Proofing? Nintendo coated their bite-sized Switch cartridges with bitter, harmless yucky stuff so that tiny gamers won’t snack on them. Gross but good!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Nintendo Switch Cartridges - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Julius Pecson

Does your trash can migrate? Does the cleaning crew have their own ideas? This crafty Quality Director created her own Visual Workplace technique and voila! The trash can is forever in striking distance.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Trash X - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Lynne Emmons

Where’s my mic?! The singers at Grace Bible Church Pearlside – Regal Campus know exactly where the microphones go. And they know which one is missing! Visual Management for sopranos, altos and tenors.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Microphone Box - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Julius Pecson

Being a young patient is scary but hearing the staff speak your native tongue brings the warmth. Friendly Visual Workplace tools provided by Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Preferred Language Sign - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Julius Pecson

Banana Split anybody? Seattle Children’s Hospital adds the fun factor to “slippery when wet” – Mistake-Proofing for the kindergarten set.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere - Wet Floor Banana - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Julius Pecson

“My grandson kept putting dishes in the sink – now he knows when to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher!” – A little job status indicator from a crafty Michigan grandma.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Job Status Indicator - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Carol Wardin

A shelf of Kanbans creates a paper stock Supermarket – Order Just-In-Time and put it in just the right spot!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Paper Stock Kanban - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Carlo Mantels

No more messy tablecloths thanks to the Drip Catcher from Carasyl Enterprises. Mistake-Proofing for the church supper!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Drip Catcher - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Is the water safe? Can I drink it? Can I use it to brush my teeth? This traveller says, “no, no and no” by placing a bottle of clean drinking water right under the tap. Mistake-Proofing keeps you safe from foreign water sources!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Water Reminder - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Janell Saavedra

Prices change, visuals need to change. Automation creates an agile Visual Workplace at your cutting edge grocery store!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Grocery Store Label - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Kelvin Tanjuakio

The men’s room turned into a Visual Workplace – Proving once again, funny is effective! (and please note the unexpected job posting)

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Urinal Sign - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Andrew “Skip” Matty

Need to park? Gotta shop? Lots of room for you on Level 9! The Ala Moana Shopping Center parking space Status Board tells you where to go – in the nicest way of course – it’s in Hawaii!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Shopping Center Parking - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Julius Pecson

What time are we landing? Will I miss my connection? No need to pester the JetBlue flight crew with this up-to-the-minute Expected Arrival Time Clock. A Visual Workplace right outside the cockpit!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: JetBlue Clock - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Tired of your luggage looking the same as everyone else’s? Slap your face on your travel gear and pick it out at baggage claim first time, every time. Mistake-Proofing can be funny, but it’s still practical!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Custom Luggage - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

When your tissues turn “Action-Blue” that means you’ll be running out of tissues soon. That means, you better get another box with Kanban color alerts before watching a tearjerker movie!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Kanban Tissues - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Did somebody feed the dogs? Is the laundry done? It all becomes clear on the Funderburk Family Job Status Board! There’s even a heart icon ♥ for “Love What You Did.” A Visual Workplace for kids, dogs and shoes.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Job Status Board - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Earl Funderburk

Instead of hollering fast food order numbers, simply glance at the screen. An easy way to communicate flow of food…fast! A Job Status Board at McDonald’s for the traveling diner!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Fast Food Screen - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Color-coded and straight to the point – This Visual Workplace lets you know what your colleagues are up to. Looks like they need a “Gone Fishing!” sign!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Out-of-Office - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

What’s the quickest way to let everybody know when your plate is full? Flip the arrow on the “Stress-o-Meter” to the red zone and maybe you’ll catch a break. A Visual Workplace for officemates distress!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Stress-o-Meter - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Teachers everywhere – Rejoice! This school supplies Shadow Board lets students know – that you know – they’ve got the stapler and where it goes when they’re done. Visual Management for the classroom!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: School Supplies Shadow Board - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Sarah Mae Pecson

Which door? Where can I go? Relax! This picture says, “Whatever you’re wearing and however you get here, this restroom is for you!” The airport becomes a Visual Workplace for the urgent traveller.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Restroom for All - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Don’t you hate it when the lid doesn’t fit? Well, there are no haters at this Subway soda fountain since color-coded lids let you know exactly which cups to put them on. Thirsty diners enjoy the Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Subway Lids - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Karlo Tanjuakio

Tagalog? Farsi? Polish? If your native tongue isn’t English, no problem! The little index finger lets you know to “point to your language” and an interpreter will arrive. People of the world enjoy a Visual Workplace.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Interpretation Services - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Paper or plastic? What about garbage? Black and blue labels give travelers a color-coded key to tossing stuff out while on the move. The airport as a Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Trash Cans - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Do I have 12 items? 14 items? The Blue Basket Lane means I don’t care! If everything fits in my basket, this is my lane. No need for counting with the Mistake-Proofing “Blue Basket” system.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Blue Basket Lane - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Karlo Tanjuakio

A Little League baseball field becomes a Visual Workplace that tells fans how to return baseballs to the umpire. Play ball!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Little League Baseball Return - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Where does your cup go when you have a laptop? What if there’s turbulence? Air France did a little Mistake-Proofing for the global traveller. Merci!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Airline Cup Holder - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

In a sea of products and prices, Costco makes it easy to find the organic products they carry by using big, green signs. The discerning grocer appreciates a Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Costco Organic Signage - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Should I stand or should I walk? Well, whatever I decide, thanks to this signage, I know where to do it! The Visual Workplace prevents the dreaded escalator pile up. Keep it moving people!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Walk or Stand Escalator - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Karlo Tanjuakio

Where are my keys? On the counter? On my dresser? In my jeans? Oh, they’re right here on this “Put Your Keys Here” placemat. When your home becomes a Visual Workplace, you get out the door faster!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere - Key Mat - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Carlo Mantels

Snowboarding? Skiing? Snowshoeing? The slopes are waiting and so are you. No problem at Mammoth Mountain! Ski resorts are Visual Workplaces. One, two, three, four and you’re out the door!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Mammoth Mountain Signs - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Water bottles and pens in front of the hotel fridge serve as reminders to take travel items out before leaving. They’re not trash, they’re Kanbans! Mistake-Proofing for the road warrior.

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Travel Reminder - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Tired of making too strong or weak coffee and don’t want to spend $200 on a machine? Mistake-Proof single serving portion size courtesy of Starbucks makes it easy to make a perfect cup!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Starbucks Packets - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Place the tools where they’re needed – that’s the Lean credo behind a hanging pair of “cheater” (reading) glasses in the bathroom – A Visual Workplace where you need it most!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Reading Glasses - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Sushi goes down easy, but it’s not easy on the wallet. No worries, just check the color of the plate – yellow is safe but black could make short work of your raw fish budget! A Visual Workplace makes sure fine dining is affordable!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Sushi Plates - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Karlo Tanjuakio

The San Diego Zoo is a Visual Workplace since you need to know if you’re interacting with friend or foe. No fingers in the cages!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: San Diego Zoo - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Karlo Tanjuakio

Visual Management for the young cycler. And Mistake-Proofing for the young driver. Keeping the garage Lean!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Bikes - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Just went to Alcatraz and confirmed the use of Visual Management – Definitely important to know if a knife is missing at a glance when surrounded by inmates!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Alcatraz Knives - GoLeanSiSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Emergency Rooms usually mean hours of waiting and uncertainty, but what if you knew the wait time? What if you had a choice? A Process Status Board on a billboard – thanks!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: ER Wait Time Billboard - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Is there any mail to go out? Where is it? A clothespin forms a signal (aka Kanban) that answers both those questions before they’re asked – Visual Workplace in the foyer!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Outgoing Mail - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Holly North

How do you stop people from inadvertently turning off the motion-detector lights? Fifty cents worth of plastic and nobody has to wander around in the dark – Mistake-Proofing at work!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Poka Yoke Light Switch - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Got back to your table with three knives? Two spoons and a fork? Not at this woodsy Vermont Cafe. Even if you come down from Quebec, you’ll recognize what you need – Vive Le Workplace Visuel!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Visual Utensils - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Courtesy of Apple, here’s a great example of visual instructions. No words needed and easy to understand at a glance!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Apple Adapter Instructions - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

Driving into a garage is like a tight-space driving test. When you fail, you could flatten a bicycle. A Mistake-Proofing tennis ball means you get an ‘A’ every time!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Poka Yoke Tennis Ball Garage - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Looking for the loo? El baño? The lavatory? Your native tongue doesn’t matter since red means stop and green means go, so to speak, in every language! Mistake-Proofing at it’s best!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Ballpark Bathroom - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Tracy O’Rourke

This empty carton might look like garbage, but to us it’s a signal (aka Kanban) that it’s time to buy milk. And yes, then it’s garbage – kitchen as Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Milk Kanban - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

How do hotels run banquets behind the scenes? They put plate stacks on wheels, they paint the floor so it’s clear where they go and you get your wedding entree on time – Visual Management keeps things rolling!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Hotel Banquet Carts - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

When shopping leaves you hungering for a hotdog, Costco leads the way with a few finely placed arrows – a Visual Workplace for the lunch crowd!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Costco Visual Line - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Karlo Tanjuakio

No pictures! No Text! Canadian TSA knows the best visual clues are real ones – a Visual Workplace makes the lines go faster!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: TSA Airport Security - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Is bathroom cleanup a trial as your young son struggles with aim? A fly decal replaces accidents with target practice – Mistake-Proof the toilet!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Urinal Fly - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Rey Elbo

Where’s my new scarf? Just add a few pictures and nobody’s reaching for the wrong basket anymore – the closet is a Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Winter Clothing Visual - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

It’s been a year, and now I can’t find those dang Christmas ornaments. Oh! They’re right here in the red and green boxes. Even the attic can be a Visual Workplace!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Christmas Decorations - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Carol Knight-Wallace

Sheraton Hotels use shadow boards with color coding to make it easy for housekeeping and guests. Visual Management on the road!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Sheraton Hotel Shadow Tray - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

A kitchen ‘Shadow Drawer’ makes it easy to know where the knives go – and which ones are missing. Home grown Visual Management!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: Shadowboard Knife Drawer - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Elisabeth Swan

Bathrooms with green and red lights let you know whether a stall is occupied or not – That’s the kind of Mistake-Proofing we need!

Lean Six Sigma Is Everywhere: IAL Restrooms - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Submitted by Jurija Metovic


Check with us every week to find out where we found Lean Six Sigma at work in the world at large. How about you? Do you see it? Where? Show us in the comments below!