5S Methodology

In this article we will talk about what is 5s methodology and how apply that in your company 😉

Ivan and his experience with the implementation of 5S Methodology!









The 5S Methodology starts from the initials of the following Japanese words.

  • Seiri
  • Seiton
  • Seiso
  • Seiketsu
  • Shitsuke

Even if it is cool in Japanese :-),

I prefer to remember them in English.

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Let me send you a copy so you can read it when it’s convenient for you.

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Here a BONUS video on 5S Methodology and Tips for every "S".













In  essence,

I will help you to implement the "5S" in 30 days

even if

there is a resistant environment in the company.

Discover how to:


Be prepared when you have to start

Have the "buy in" from your colleagues

Shock your boss with great results


We’ve done it.

Now it’s your turn.

and we’re finally ready to show you in this free guide.

  • Do you ever look at your desk and wish it would well organized ?
  • Do you hear stories about 30-40% space savings and wonder,
    “How do they do it?”
  • Have you ever spent 4 hours to make order in a department and
    then ... chaos again?


If so,

I have good news for you.

Here you will find the best tips

to have great results in 5S methodology implementation.

5S Methodology - Prepared Before Start


Part 1: The First "S" is not the First Step.

How to set the tools for a successful "5S"

Our friend Fred Rapoza says:

Fred Rapoza

You cannot go to the war without the right weapons

Fred Rapoza


In the same way you have

to set the tools before you start a "5S" implementation.

In summary,

Tool N° 1:

Your Boss Commitment


If your boss does not believe in the project

will be difficult to have great support.


before you waste your energy, do the "Label Maker Test"

to evaluate if your boss is consistent with his words:

"We have to do 5S".

Here the complete article: "How to save time with 5S Lean"


Tool N° 2:

A lot of stuff ready to be used


One of the biggest mistake

you can do is to start the 5S without all the materials

you need to implement it.


Here there is a list of the "minimum"

you need to have "ready to use" when you start.

One or two boxes to put garbage in

Red Tags

Pens and Markers

Whiteboard or Flipchart

A Label Maker with a lot of cartridge

Material for "Shadowboard"

A PC close to you during the event (with a printer)

Material to clean shelves

Generally spaeking,

when I say "ready to use",

I mean each time you need it you have

to be able to get in less than 2 minutes.


Tool N° 3:

Training before starting.


Simon Sinek suggests: "Start with why"

Simon Sinek





So do I !

Before coming to an area or office and say:

"Let us do 5S",

explain them why it is important


why they should participate.

Some of the phrase you can use:

  • It is important to have a place always clean and tidy
  • You will find things in an easier way
  • You will save a lot of time
  • It will be less stressful to work
  • There will be less conflict between us

Tool N° 4:

Do it! Do not say: "You have to do"


You have to do by yourself, your office has to be under 5S.

During the "5S" you have to participate directly.


If you are not credible, they will not follow you.



To sum up,

if you do not have these 4 tools DO NOT START!

There is nothing worst that a "false start"


Give your 5S methodology a purpose.

A written in this article on 5S:

" 5S without 5Y is just housekeeping "

Robert Simonis

Problem-solving and problem prevention needs to be the focus and methodology or 5S becomes a very burdensome housekeeping program.

Robert Simonis

privacy We value your privacy and would never spam you


Happy to 5S

Part 2: How to start the "5S" and having your colleagues happy to participate

Let me ask you a simple question:

Why should a colleague implement the 5S ?

If you don’t have a crisp answer,

you’re not alone.

When most people get asked this question,

they list of tons of obscure reasons.

Or worse,

they don’t have an answer at all.

That’s a huge problem.


Because if you — the 5S Champion — don’t know,

how can you expect colleagues to implement ?

I learned this the hard way.

When I started my first "5S", my answer was:

"We have to do it, the company says it".

This answer kills any motivated person.

The best way to convince your colleagues is to show them your example.


I have my office under 5S with everything in order and labelled.

When they come to my office to ask me something

(a scissors, a file, papers for the printer, the stapler)

I can find that in less the 2 seconds.

The example is the kicker!

Follow this tip and you will be the winner in 5S.


let us move to the 5S theory with some tips from experience.

The video on 5S is here.


Here there is a video to explain 5S by Pens and Pencils.

Visual Pens and Pencils


5S Lean Theory and Tips



1S - Sort


  1. Eliminate all unnecessary tools, parts.
  2. Go through all tools, materials, and so forth in the plant and work area.
  3. Keep only essential items and eliminate what is not required, prioritizing things per requirements and keeping them in easily-accessible places.
  4. Everything else is stored or discarded.

1S - Sort - Tip


1S - Sort - Tip 2

2S - Set in order


Set in Order

  1. Arrange the work, workers, equipment, parts, and instructions.
  2. In such a way that the work flows free of waste through the value added tasks with a division of labor necessary to meet demand.


2S - Set in order

2S - Set in order - Tip 2

2S - Set in order - Tip 3

2S - Set in order - Tip 4

3S - Shine


  1. Clean the workspace and all equipment, and keep it clean, tidy and organized.
  2. At the end of each shift, clean the work area and be sure everything is restored to its place.
  3. This step ensures that the workstation is ready for the next user and that order is sustained.

4S - Standardize


  1. Ensure uniform procedures and setups throughout the operation.
  2. Promote interchangeability.

4S - Standardize Tip

5S - Sustain


  1. Make it a way of life.
  2. This means commitment.
  3. Ensure disciplined adherence to rules and procedures of 5 S to prevent backsliding.

Part 3: 5S Real Examples

In the photo you will find what I discarded during the 5S methodology in

an office. Do you think it is useful the red iron in an office?

5S Methodology Before and After

5S Shadow Board

5S Equipment Before and After

See other examples on

5S Best Practices >>


Looking for 5S PPT?

Here you can find our best collection of 5S PTT.


Voices of experts about 5S Methodology.

Here some comments from groups on Lean.


Dave EvansI can't understand why more people don't do 6S .... Thesixth S being SAFETY. It makes so much sense to integrate safety into 5S, maybe someone could help me by telling me why not. Most safety incidents are slips trips falls hence the need for the integration of the 6th S.

Dave Evans, Head of Improvement in Rolls Royce


William UdallIn my experience the measurement of waste
before implementing 5s is the critical factor.

If you can identify wastes (particularly transport)
and remove or reduce them

by having

the right things in the right place at the right time
this can be translated into cost removal.

The measurement of increased productivity
by freeing up the time spent transporting

into production make a powerful argument when looking for capital
expenditure to further improve the work area.

In essence do the easy wins first and ensure these wins are recorded with solid data

William Udall, Continuous Improvement Manager


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