Lean 5S: Clean & Orderly

5S denotes five S’s used as a reminder to help us keep our workplaces clean and orderly. Derived from five Japanese words, they have been translated into English as:

Set In Order (Straighten)

First. we sort out things not needed to perform the work in our immediate work area. This reduces clutter, opportunity for errors and potential safety issues. Frees up space to lay out work in a flow.

Second, we set things in order — a place for everything and everything in its place (trays, bins, folders, shadow boxes, colored tape floor marking, etc.).

Third, we keep things shined, swept, dusted. Clean up!

Fourth, we standardize how we do work. This creates “flow” so that work is more organized and makes it easier for people to do their jobs and for others to learn (Examples: standard work, leader standard work, SOPs). The standards provide us a baseline upon which we can make improvements.

Finally, we sustain these 4 S’s through the discipline of daily management, self-policing and by providing rewards and consequences to encourage adherence.