Seiton (Straighten): This 5S step entails arranging the work in a manner that makes jobs easier to do. Seiso (Scrub): This 5S step entails not only doing an initial cleaning, but making it easy to keep the area clean.
Because translation is an inexact science, you will likely see many different versions of 5S. In truth, though, whatever version is used, you will likely find an underlying current of common sense in it.
Ultimately, the goal of 5S is simply to reduce waste, ensure efficiency and effectiveness, and ultimately improve productivity in the workplace. Regardless of which set of 5S terms your organization uses, and how the system is measured, the intent of a 5S system should be to improve the flow of the value stream. People walk to a shared workspace like a print station, and then have to go back to their desk to get a hole punch. Shared workspaces or break areas are in chaos—old coffee cups, spills, missing items, empty material bins, equipment in the wrong location. If you learn how to 5S you will find that it is a simple and powerful method that really does work to help eliminate these conditions.
People whose areas are 5S’ed also seem to be a little more relaxed than those working in chaos. Retrieving items should be, if possible, a one handed motion that ends up with the item in your hand oriented for use.
It is a good idea to have multiples of the same tool if it speeds up the process, and if the cost is not prohibitive.
While that can be true when the location of items are dictated by others, good 5S includes ownership by frontline employees.
If you have a leader dictating what to do, do a self-assessment and see if you have been offering any ideas of your own. 5S is based on common sense, and examples of good 5S are easy to find in people’s personal lives.
Thank you very much Jeff, for creating such a wonderfull material, which will be a reference for many people.. Jeff – you continue to impress me with the quality of your writing and refreshingly pragmatic approach which, in this case, seeks to minimise the dangers of becoming overly pedantic with a 5S programme and risking employee rejection as a result. Review: I used a lot of different tools, programs and aids to train on 5S but this is one of the best I've seen. In present times, various companies are seen adopting popular methodologies to stay ahead of competitors and of them is 5S organization. In a nutshell, it entails creating an organized, effective workspace that supports the processes being performed in the area. Some of the most common terms include: sort, simplify, systematic arrangement, set in order, spic and span, scrub, sweep, shine, standardize, stabilize, sustain, and self-discipline. In fact, you and your team likely use many of the concepts in your home life, so it should not be a big stretch to apply the same logical principles of 5S in your factory or Lean office.
There’s an old joke, ‘You always find something in the last place you look for it.” The problem is that the last place sometimes takes quite a while to get to. It has a measurable impact on efficiency, primarily by reducing the time it takes to find things, walk to get things, or prepare workspaces for use. A supervisor observing an employee who is well-versed in 5S generally has more confidence in him. They can always find just what they need in a crisis, preventing the increase of stress on the job.


These locations should be in a logical order, though that logic varies based upon what you are doing.
Watch people picking up tools—there is frequently the twirl of the tool to get it ready to use—occasionally resulting in dropping the tool. It does not take many trips back to your desk for a stapler to realize one should be located by the printer as well. Strategic placement and sequencing of tools and materials will encourage people to follow proper processes. The less obvious parts are making cleaning easier and preventing messes in the first place. One simple thing to help keep clutter down on workspaces is to put a hole in a bench and put a trash can below it.
If you are frequently punching holes in documents and making a mess, consider using pre-punched paper.
Dirty processes (such as welding) frequently have hoods overhead to pull the debris out of the air and prevent it from accumulating elsewhere. Clip a flashlight to a chain where it is needed to check on fluid levels, or tether a pen to a bank counter.
Conventional wisdom says that it takes 30 days of practice for something to become a habit. Checklists, or sign-off sheets, (like you see for cleaning schedules in restaurant restrooms) are effective at helping ensure 5S is being maintained. These are pegboards that have either outlines of the tools, or a picture of the tool underneath them. Even labeled and fixed locations should change regularly as processes are improved and team members come up with new ideas. They believe that 5S takes away some of their flexibility, and their autonomy in the work area. Managers should be giving you the tools and training to make good decisions about workplace arrangement on your own. Personal items are completely acceptable, and should be encouraged if they help keep morale high and people happy. If you are doing it effectively, team members will notice the benefit and backsliding will be minimal.
I put a lot of work into making the material, so it is nice to hear that people find it useful. One of the most common examples of 5S in the home is the ubiquitous divider in the silverware drawer (shown above).
The employee who is able to keep a workspace finely tuned to the process appears far more competent than one who works in an area of disarray. They also are able to limit the frustrations that come from searching for tools and materials, or having to make due with an inadequate workspace.
In some manufacturing cells, placing the tools in the order in which they are used make sense. As an example, pliers should be arranged with the handles facing you so you can immediately grab the tool as you would use it. Remember—Step 1 got rid of the tools that are not needed, which further aligns the way production teams do things.
The less time your teams spend on cleaning tasks, the more time they will be available to do useful, productive tasks.
A small nozzle can blow every few minutes to push wire strippings into a bin rather than having to manually clear them away.


Be flexible with how it is implemented, but be firm that standardization and organization is a job requirement. Managers should also provide the necessary resources, including time, money, and the right tools and equipment.
This free download has the PowerPoint animated presentation, a section for the facilitator and forms to be printed out.
It is simple, educational, and will help people that have no concept at all about a simple process that will help home and work organizing, as well as support time management.
Office supplies stored in drawers require one hand to open the drawer, and one hand to get the stapler. If a person is frequently walking back to a shadowboard to get a tool, buy another one and keep one at each location where it is used. If you are greasing or gluing something, talk to your engineering team and change the design to eliminate the need for messy adhesives and lubricants.
If your stapler was borrowed, it should be apparent immediately because of an empty outline on your desk labeled ‘Stapler’. This free download has the PowerPoint animated presentation, a section for the facilitator and forms to be printed out. Now, when they are translated into English, takes the form of:The first step of this methodology is Sorting explains, things that are no longer can be used must be discarded which means eliminating all important instructions, tools and parts. They keep their stores orderly, prominently label their goods, and are contstantly cleaning.
You may decide that in an office environment, you are best served by arranging your area according to how frequently you use items. It is surprising how often countless walking steps are added to a process due to skimping on a $5 hand tool. If your materials have not yet arrived in your work area, you should see an empty space on the floor, complete with label.
Once you are done with the sorting procedure, you can simply tag the items and can successfully move them into a central location.Secondly, Straightening Out comprises of deciding on a place for each item and putting everything in the right place. A rule of thumb it to observe the person and see if the personal items get in the way of work. This is when audits are the most critical—in the period immediately following changes in the 5S of an area. Items on top of a monitor are probably OK, unless they are constantly falling down, or encourage passers-by to stop and comment or play for a while. Now, it can be said that it gives each instrument, a permanent place to stay and so helps in saving time of workforce.The next step Shine is all about keeping the workplace and equipments clean.
Searching is particularly bad because not only does it waste time, but you never know how long it will take.
Generally, it allocates each employee an area of responsibility and directs them to clean the workplace once the clutter has been organized and sorted out.When it comes to talk about the forth step, Standardize, well it makes sure that all the employees should not find any difficulty while working from any locations and performing the duties timely.
It is a mutual process, if your workers are happy they will work in a way that your client will be pleased with your services. In effect, you are pulling out all of the unnecessary items from your work area, making it easier to find the remaining items that you do need. Therefore, it enforces a continuous routine to execute the above mentioned procedures.The last step of this methodology, Sustain reminds employees of your expectations with regular staff meetings, emails and posters.



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