Improving Productivity With 5S

Karina Keith

Start your lean journey with the 5S model Optimized efficiency in any workplace makes it easier to get work done. Reducing waste can only help …

Start your lean journey with the 5S model

Optimized efficiency in any workplace makes it easier to get work done. Reducing waste can only help improve productivity in a work environment. All good things. But how can businesses achieve these goals? 5S is a lean strategy that results in an uncluttered, safe and well organized work environment. It may be the answer you’re looking for to increase office organizational effectiveness. 5S is a practice that originated in Japan, but has now become a leading worldwide practice. rainbow file folder

There are, as the name suggests, five steps in the 5S process:

  1. Seiri (Sort): Get rid of anything in your work space that is not absolutely necessary for your work.
  2. Seiton (Straighten): A place for everything, and everything in its place.
  3. Seiso (Shine): Clean up – everything!
  4. Seiketsu (Standardize): Make it a habit, routine. Standardization is useful when team members are absent.
  5. Shitsuke (Sustain): Committing to the new routine and avoiding a backlash – often the most difficult step.

Check out these blog posts for a good roundup on 5S:

Everyday lean: 4 tips to sustaining 5S in the office
Now that we know what 5S is, how do we sustain the positive changes? Examined here are examples of how one office sustains the 5S lean principle.  Ever thought of posting a daily score from a 5S audit ~ “This visibility ensures that the team can do their part in assisting in achieving acceptable scores.”

Going to Gemba and seeing 5S at a Japanese hospital
This is a great read about how one hospital in Japan truly embraces lean and the 5S principles. Always start by asking “Is there a problem with our current state? What is the problem?”

The 5S principles can lead to improved productivity and boost efficiency. It’s often a first step for companies getting started on the lean journey that helps set the stage for success.  Have you recently implemented 5S strategies in your work environment? We’d love to hear your success stories.

What does your lean journey look like? Feel free to leave a comment below or shout out to us on Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you could always write your own blog post on the subject and share it with us… We’d love to read it!

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Karina Keith is a consultant with CornerStone Dynamics Inc. 'Katching up with Karina' blogs focus on the top web finds for the month. Aligning project goals along with truly understanding what motivates people to get their jobs done is what Karina does best.

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