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Lean Six Sigma Tools For Your Email Inbox

Lean Six Sigma tools are very much like regular tools, you can use them on anything you want, but their primary function stays the same. For example, you can use a hammer to pound in a nail or a chisel to remove tile. The basic function of the hammer or chisel doesn’t change, but how you choose to apply its use is up to you.

The same is true of Lean Six Sigma tools. For example, take the 5S tool, which is used to get rid of what’s not needed and establish orderly flow. In business, you would use this tool to get rid of junk, and establish a place for everything and everything in its place.

How about using this particular tool to clean out the inbox of your email?

The 5S Tool

Here are the processes of 5S tool:

  • Sort
  • Straighten
  • Scrub
  • Standardize
  • Sustain

Applied to your email inbox:

Sort: Go through all your emails, throw out what you don’t need. Divide the remaining into categories based on degrees of importance.
Straighten: Are there emails that need a response? Those that need action taken would need to be in a specific folder so that you have a clear picture of what needs to be done.
Scrub: Here is where archiving and creating SAVE AS folders come in handy, to free up some space on your computer.
Standardize: Get a filing system that is easy to follow so that you can find items easily.
Sustain: Pick a day out of the week, or perhaps a time of day, everyday and go through that email and discard what you don’t need and do a quick scan of what you do need.

So as you can see, one Lean Six Sigma tool was created to establish orderly flow; where you establish that flow is up to you and your creativity.

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