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Yes to 5S Anywhere Anytime



Yes to 5S Anywhere Anytime

Shilpa Venkateshwaran
Written by Shilpa Venkateshwaran
on March 25, 2011
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What is 5S?

I was at a lean six sigma training recently and in the training we spent an hour or so learning about 5S. 5S is a process and method for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe, and high performance workspace. This methodology uses five Japanese words which are translate to letters that start with “s” in English. The 5s are Sort (Seiri), Set In Order/Simplify (Seiton), Shine (Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu), Sustain/Self discipline (Shitsuke). In recent years a couple of new terms have been added – Safety, Security, and Satisfaction (of the customer).
A well-organized workplace
  • Is motivational
  • Is safe
  • Improves employee morale
  • Standardizes work so it can be done consistently and repeatedly
  • Has higher productivity

How to use 5S anywhere?

The goal behind this tool set is to organize and improve work areas. And yet this process can be successfully incorporated anywhere and at home too.
  1. Sort - Remove unwanted items and keep only what is needed
  2. Set In Order- Keep everything in such a way that they are easy to reach when needed
  3. Shine - Keep things clean
  4. Standardize - Operate in a consistent manner
  5. Sustain – Maintain the established process

How to start 5S?

  • Involve everyone - 5s cannot be the responsibility of a few people. Everyone has to act or help with it. Incorporate activities where everyone can be involved
  • Get Authorization – Get approval from management so teams can take appropriate time to spend on 5S activities
  • Get buy in – 5s cannot be successful without the buy in from everyone involved.
  • Provide training - Train everyone. Talk about this as often as possible in meetings or create posters and provide fliers to everyone.
  • Formalize it – Set up user groups or monthly meetings to discuss 5S. Create a plan and have 5S events regularly.

Sustaining a world class 5S workplace requires real team work. With this tool kit in hand I wish everyone happy 5S-ing.

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Comments

There have been made 7 comments on this article
  1. Raymond Blijd on March 26th 2011 at 06:48 am
    Nice post. I have 1 simple rule: don’t use paper.
    I do not print. I also do not accept paper from anyone, only digital versions. Written notes are scanned. I use emails on my iPhone for document management and to view documents during meetings. I project documents with a beamer during meetings.
    There’s only a PC on my desk, nothing else.
  2. Shilpa Venkateshwaran on March 26th 2011 at 02:32 pm
    That is so cool Raymond. I still print a few things but love your idea. I should try that. Thanks for the comment.
  3. Kaizen King on June 21st 2011 at 09:02 pm
    I wish your pictures were real before and after pictures. What you have is a messy desk and a clean desk. Not the before 5 S desk and then the same after 5 S desk. Showing two different desks and labeling them as before and after is deceptive and lazy.
  4. shilpa on June 21st 2011 at 09:07 pm
    Kaizen King.. thanks for the note. The first set of pics were from the training we had. The second set were from one of our own office. I am sorry if you feel this is deceptive.
  5. OpEx Director on January 19th 2012 at 09:49 pm
    I just read “Kaizen King”‘s comment. Very immature. How can you know that the intent was deception? How do you know if the poster was being lazy, or simply didn’t think the same way as you?
    I have doubts about your title as “King”. I am guessing you gave yourself that tile, and I hope you are not jumping to conclusions that quickly while attempting to problem-solve. I can offer you some instruction in root-cause analysis if you would like to learn Lean 101. Maybe you would benefit.
  6. Chippy on June 5th 2012 at 10:01 pm
    OpEx – I hope you just didn’t make an assumption on the King title.
  7. Kate on October 17th 2012 at 03:55 pm
    I also realized that 2nd part of pics – they are not showing one table – the clean table is below the messy-one, you can see wall. But anyway – I think as an example is OK. thank you for this easy 5s introduction.
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