Why Practice 5S?

Someone asked: “Why do 5S [sort, simplify, shine, standardize, sustain]? It’s just going to get dirty again.”

Case Study: 5S in Practice

5S is a Lean tool that helps in workplace organization. The following is the list of five Japanese words and their translation in English. (Seiri) Sorting and prioritizing: Going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the work area and keeping only the essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded. (Seiton) Straighten or set…


Resource Page: 5S

During the month of August – while many are taking time off to enjoy summer – we will be offering a resource page on a different topic each week. The resource page features an overview of the week’s topic and links to the best related content across iSixSigma. This week’s topic is 5S. 5S is…

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A Model for Implementing a 5S Program

The process improvement tool 5S (sort, straighten, shine, standardize, sustain) sounds like a simple concept to implement – and it is. But its simplicity is sometimes the cause of its early demise – it is easy to “do” 5S without much effort or strategic coordination, and thus without as much effect as possible. A 5S…


The 5S of Communication

Lean 5S (sort, simplify, shine, standardize, sustain) are about organizing work space so we can be more efficient, effective and productive. All Lean concepts are about how work gets done. There are many benefits Lean 5S can provide including improving safety, decreasing down time, raising employee morale, identifying problems more quickly and establishing convenient work…


No Cause for Alarm: Avoiding Control Room Overload with 5S

The typical plant control room has changed dramatically over the years. Alarm management – which once was simply a sound or flashing light designed to get the control room operator’s attention – has changed dramatically, too. Many control rooms have replaced analog panel boards with multiple screens of bright and colorful representations of plant equipment….


Lean Six Sigma Remains Strong in Manufacturing

A recently released study of compensation trends at manufacturing companies across the country contained some reassuring news for quality professionals: The deployment of Lean and Six Sigma methods remains strong in the manufacturing sector. Within the more than 1,000 pages of the 2010 Compensation Data Manufacturing survey on salaries and benefits, conducted by consulting firm…

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5S as a Tool for Gaining Buy-in

During my experience as a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioner, I have found that it is very important to grab the attention and the interest of participants as quickly as possible. For any Lean program to succeed, participants must immediately identify with and buy into the concepts, and learn how Lean will benefit their lives….


Kaizen and Six Sigma Together in the Quest for Lean

Kaizen is seductive and efficient. It can deliver results quickly and on a significant scale, utilize the collective insight and experience of those who know most about the process and inspire employees with a relentless curiosity about and discomfort with waste, defects and constraints to throughput. But it is also overrated. Kaizen Alone In the…


5S Your Email Outbox

After reading my last post, 5S Your Email Inbox, a couple of colleagues asked whether they could apply 5S to sending emails as well. Here are the guidelines that I use – I’m sure others have their methods, too, so feel free to share your own best practices! SORT 1. Ask yourself, does the recipient really…


5S Your Email Inbox

I love to open my business email inbox in the morning, don’t you? Especially if you’ve been practicing good work-life balance and haven’t peeked at it since the end of business the day before. When I go on vacation, it’s a special treat. Here’s a 5S strategy that I have used to keep up with…