Case Study Continuous Improvement and Lean within FMD


  • The FMD office environment was disorganised and cluttered.
  • There were challenges sourcing and handling documentation and the flow of paperwork in and out of the Directors office.
  • The FMD meeting processes required a review to provide more structure and include more of a focus on innovation and improvement.
  • The FMD Director wanted to role model the behaviour he wanted to see within the entire FMD team.
  • The Annual Plan was developed but not closely reviewed in a timely manner to ensure actions were progressing and promised outcomes being achieved.

Impact this was having

  • Inefficient use of time spent looking for documentation.
  • No way of capturing the innovation and improvement efforts that were underway within FMD.
  • FMD Managers working “in the business” due to the busy nature of their roles

Desired Future State

  • A well organised office environment, that is clean, uncluttered, safe and organised.
  • An environment that has “a place for everything and everything in its place, when you need it”.
  • An efficient workspace and efficient handling of paperwork to ensure nothing is missed.\
  • Meeting processes improved to enable discussion around
  • innovation and improvement underway within FMD.
  • More structure in the time spent reviewing progress of annual plans and the achievement of desired outcomes.
  • The FMD Director and FMD PA wished to role model the desired behaviour they wished to see within the whole FMD team

The Approach Undertaken

  • 5S was used to organise the office of the FMD Director.
  • The FMD PA then used the Lean 5S tool to review and improve her workspace.
  • A process was put in place to handle incoming and outgoing paperwork.
  • A review of the weekly FMD meeting processes was undertaken in consultation with the FMD Managers.

Solutions Implemented

Lean 5S

Under the guidance of an External Facilitator, the FMD Director and PA used undertake some training in Lean methodology and tools and used Lean 5S to:


  • Set up a spot for unwanted items.
  • Items into needed and not needed.
  • Dispose of items tucked under desks, on top of filing cabinets and in cupboards.
  • Dispose of items sitting on the desk.
  • Checked position of items.
  • Sorted filing cabinets, in trays and hard drives (CoL Retention Policy was checked)

Set in Order

  • Organised the work area for the maximum possible efficiency.
  • Coordinated flow of paperwork in and out.
  • Organising computer folders and files.
  • Found homes for files, objects and equipment.
  • Created spots for desktop and drawer items.
  • Used labels – shelves, drawers, cabinet so anyone can find what they need.
  • Arrange needed items so that they can be accessed easily.


  • Thoroughly cleaned everything; turning the workplace into a clean, bright place.
  • Replaced old pictures on walls, cleaned blinds, cleaned cupboards, purchased plants.


  • Developed visual standards to ensure we are conscious of keeping things this way.
  • Developed a process for the handling of paperwork.
  • Developed a Standard Work Checklist for the PA to assist whoever is doing that role, in the current PA’s absence


  • We are working to maintain the new standards we’ve put in place.
  • Conversations are underway with the new FMD Director to work out the best way of maintaining Lean 5S in the workplace that works for him.
  • We returning items to their designated areas.

Lean 5S

The FMD PA then used the Lean 5S tool to review and improve her workspace.

FMD Meetings Process

  • A review of the weekly FMD meeting processes was undertaken and an improved FMD meeting Agenda and Notes templates were developed in consultation with the FMD Managers.
  • An “Innovation Register” was developed to capture the innovation occurring within FMD to allow easy reporting.

FMD Annual Plans

  • The Annual Planning process was reviewed within FMD to provide more structure and time spent discussing and reviewing progress of annual plans and the achievement of desired outcomes.
  • Our Annual Plan process has been continuously improving over the past 12-18 months

Benefits Achieved

  • A well-organised workplace complete with visual controls and order.
  • The development of standardised checklists improving efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Up to 4 hours less time per week spent looking for paperwork.
  • Development of the PA to have an excellent understanding of
  • Lean 5S, process mapping and continuous improvement.
  • The improved meeting processes increased productivity and accountability.

Future Plans:

  • Continue to review and improvement processes as part of continuous improvement culture.
  • Commitment to sustain and improve new Lean practices.
  • Celebrate achievements.
  • Communicate what we are doing to the wider organisation.