5S of Lean Six Sigma, A way of life!

5S of Lean Six Sigma, A way of life!

Quality management or improvement is an essential part of any Organization. Six Sigma is becoming popular again with the combination of Lean tools. 5S is one of the lean tools which is very cost effective and result oriented. It is easy to implement as well. I would recommend everyone to introduce 5S to their Organization and make it mandatory for everyone to practice.

Irtekaz’s Six Sigma Experts implement 5S and other Lean Tools at different location for different customers. Contact us if you need any help or support for Lean Tools or Six Sigma projects.

First S: Seiri in Japanese and Sortingin English. “Sorting” is to sort out necessary and unnecessary items. To store often used items at the work area, infrequently used items away from the work area and dispose of items that are not needed.

Sorting helps in order to remove waste, have a safer work area, gain more space and it is easier to visualize the process.
Things to remember while Sorting: Start in one area, then sort through everything. Discuss removal of items with all persons involved. Use appropriate decontamination (cleansing), environmental and safety procedures. Items that cannot be removed immediately should be tagged for later removal. If necessary, use movers and riggers.

Second S: Seiton in Japanese and Straightening in English. “Straigtening” is to arrange all necessary items. To have a designated place for everything. A place for everything and everything in its place. Easily visible and accessible.

Straigtening helps to visually show what is required or is out of place. Makes you more efficient to find items and documents. Saves time by not having to search for items. Shorter travel distances.
Things to remember while Straihgtening: Items used together should be kept together. Use labels, tape, floor markings, signs, and shadow outlines. Sharable items should be kept at a central location (eliminated excess).

Third S:Seiso in Japanese and Shining in English. “Shining” is to clean everything and find ways to keep it clean. Make cleaning a part of your everyday work.

Shining helps by having a clean workplace which indicates a quality product and process. Dust and dirt cause product contamination and potential health hazards. A clean workplace helps identify abnormal conditions.
Things to remember while Shining: Everything in its place frees up time for cleaning. Assign responsibilities to individuals for cleaning for specific areas. This eliminates “no man’s land.” Cleaning the work area is like bathing. It relieves stress and strain, removes sweat and dirt, and prepares the body for the next day.

Fourth S:Seketsu in Japanese and Standardizing in Englsih. “Standardizing” is to maintain the workplace at a level that uncovers problems and makes them obvious. To continuously improve your office or facility by continuous assessment and action.

Standardizing helps to sustain Sorting, Straightening and Shining activities every day.
Things to remember while Standardizing: We must keep the work place neat enough for visual identifiers to be effective in uncovering hidden problems. Develop a system that enables everyone in the workplace to see problems when they occur.

Fifth S: Shitsuke in Japanese and Sustaining in English. “Sustaining” is to maintain our discipline, we need to practice and repeat until it becomes a way of life.

Sustaining helps in order to build “5S” into our everyday process.
Things to remember while Sustaining: Develop schedules and check lists. Good habits are hard to establish. Commitment and discipline toward housekeeping are essential first steps toward being world class.

5S means the workplace is clean, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. 5S is the starting point for implementing improvements to a process. To ensure your gains are sustainable, you must start with a firm foundation. Its strength is contingent upon the employees and company being committed to maintaining it.

Before and after images of workplace show achievements and motivate team to keep practicing.

Contact Author of the Article: adnan@Irtekaz.net

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