For Lean fanatics, 5S is a way of life; it is the way of bringing order and sense to the world around. 5S is a Lean system that is used for organizing, cleaning, developing, and sustaining an organized and efficient work environment, ultimately leading to productivity. It is the name given to a workplace organization method that uses a list of 5 Japanese words – Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. To make it adaptable by organizations worldwide, these 5 Japanese words have been replaced with English synonyms, namely Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. Therefore, 5S represents the activities that you must undertake to create a clean working environment by implementing these 5 important practices. Utilizing these 5 practices will help you organize your workspace for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the items, and sustaining the new order. After all, organization is one of the keys to an effective workplace. Let us understand in detail these 5 basic actions that are taught in professional 5S Training Program India.
This involves removing all the unnecessary items from the working area that are not needed for the job at hand. These could include anything from tools, equipment, and machinery, to documents and containers. Therefore, sorting mans keeping only those items that are needed in your workplace.
Set in order
Now that you have only the most required things with you, you need to systematically arrange them one by one by providing a designated place to each item. You could designate locations by hanging signs from above, or labeling all the items, or marking lines on the floor. Whatever you do, you must give every item a permanent place, which can be taken to be used, and then returned to that particular place again when not in use.
You now have everything in place, with the unused items removed. This means half the work is already done, and the workplace is now clean and organized. But, this is not enough. You now need to ‘shine’ the workplace, meaning that you must clean up the area to make it look professional. Have your entire working area repaired, refurbished, fixed, and even painted, if required. Remember that working in a clean area leads to improved morale and better productivity.
Now, the entire workplace is clean and organized. But, it is important that this procedure of organizing the area is consistently followed, and for this, it is important that the practice is standardized. So, you need to formally arrange for procedures where instructions and agreements are put in place. Also, responsibility must be assigned to specific people to see to it that these procedures are developed and followed.
Once the procedures are standardized, every individual will be bound to follow them, which means that the process will be sustained. Such maintenance will encourage new improvements and make sure that an orderly workplace is sustained. If the procedures are not sustained, old habits of disorganization will resurface, and the efforts of putting up an organized workplace will be lost.
As you can see, these principles are very easy, but they definitely require a commitment. So, you need to make sure that everyone within your organization is encouraged to follow these procedures to commit to an orderly workplace. Although the 5S started as a procedure for the manufacturing industry, it has now spread to other working environments too. So, whatever kind of workplace you are operating in, you must also have your employees undergo a 5S Training Program India from professionals like TQMI, who have been pioneers in quality management and related principles since the past two decades.