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5S Implementation

5S Fast & Simple


5S can be fast and simple. Ninety percent of the benefits can flow from a few simple forms, procedures and techniques combined with plenty of action.

We recommend two stages for implementation. This allows work teams to experience results quickly and generates enthusiasm. It promotes learning in manageable steps that combine theory and practice with the emphasis on practice. It uses many principles of Action Learning.

Stage I

Stage I of 5S emphasizes cleanliness, housekeeping and convenience. Improvements in efficiency, motion economy and process are basic and, mostly, limited to individual workstations. Or, in 5S terms, Sorting, Shining and basic Setting. Training is short, team planning limited and action is quick. Standardization activity is also basic and limited to maintaining the initial levels of cleanliness. Stage I also includes a steering committee to begin Sustainment. Our workshop, "5S Fast & Simple" implements Phase I in two days. This does not have to be difficult or complex. The bias should be on action and participation. To see a typical schedule, click here.

5S Team Presentation

Stage II

Learning Team Lays out new areaStage II builds on the skills and experience of Stage I. It assumes that Sort and Shine have been maintained and that most of the Set activities for individual workstations are correct. Stage II training emphasizes layout of the area, Ergonomics and advanced Motion Economy. It also extends Standardization activities beyond 5S maintenance and into production tasks, safety or other activities where work standardization is useful. It may include Team Development training.

Useful Tools

Banners & Posters

These can change culture and attitudes but only when accompanied by management action and support. People need the knowledge of 5S tools and the resources to use them. Without such backup, employees view banners and posters as just another example of management hypocrisy.

Kaizen Events (Blitz)

Kaizen Events are short, highly focused projects for improving some aspect of a work area. They generally include training followed by or concurrent with analysis and implementation.

Quick & Easy Kaizen

Originated by Toyota and popularized by Norman Bodek, Quick & Easy Kaizen (or Mini-Kaizen) can supplement 5S activities.

Planning The Implementation

5S Teams

Steering Committee

5S Coordinator

The 5S Coordinator assists 5S Teams, may facilitate kaizen events, conducts training and executes the directions and policies of the Steering Committee.

Management Champion

The Management Champion is a senior manager who provides resources and support the for 5S program.

Stage I Kaizen Events

Planning the 5S implementationIn a Stage I kaizen event, participants are organized into 5S teams (see above). Managers, supervisors and support staff supplement core teams for learning purposes. Up to eight teams and 60 people can participate in a session and the event normally runs for two days.

Training occurs during the first half day. This training introduces 5S and basic 5S tools. After the formal training, the teams spend an hour or so planning and organizing their project. Each team presents its plan to the other groups.

Teams then move to the plant floor and execute the first of the 5S'-- Sort, Shine and Set. Several general sessions are held to report progress and the facilitator and managers visit each team as the work progresses. Near the end of the second day, the teams complete their work and report to management and the other teams in a plenary session.

While the 5S teams are executing their projects, the steering committee holds several meetings to determine their course of action. They decide on sustainment methods, initial policies and standards for 5S teams.

The 5S Coordinator works with all teams to ensure they have adequate tools and supplies. The training facilitator assists teams with decision making and organization. The Management Champion offers encouragement and support.

Stage II Kaizen Events

Stage II Kaizen Events should occur several weeks or months after the stage I event. Stage II events may require 2-5 days and the emphasis is on advanced tools. The initial training, analysis and team project planning consumes most of the first day. Such an event may include the rearrangement of equipment or the construction of special tools.

After the training and planning, the event is executed in a manner similar to the Stage I event but the time required may be longer. Stage II events are more focused and only a few teams hold events simultaneously.

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