Lean Management Tools

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What is 5S?lean-management-tool-5S-framework-mango

This is a workplace method aimed at improving your organisation, based upon the five Japanese keywords:

  • Seiri (Sort)
  • Seiton (Set in Order)
  • Seiso (Shine)
  • Seiketsu (Standardize)
  • Shitsuke (Sustain).

This framework was created in Japan with the intention of describing how to efficiently and effectively organize a workplace by looking at the items used and decisions made in regards to the 5S’s

1. Sort (seiri) 

The first S relates to the sorting of all items within one location, and removing anything that is not necessary to be there.

The way this is interrelated with Lean is that through the reduction of unneeded items, there will be a decrease in time spent looking for the needed item, linking in with the idea of transportation and inventory. 

This can be implemented by first checking all the items in a location, and determining whether they are all needed in this location.  If not, the unnecessary items should be removed.


2. Set in Order (seiton) 

This can also be known as ‘straighten’, and relates to putting all items in their prime place for carrying out their function within the workplace. 

The ultimate goal of this is to make the workflow smooth and easy. 

This can be implemented through the arrangement of tools in a work space – ensure they are in close proximity to each other and in a logical order.  Using labels to identify particular items will make this step easier.


3. Shine (seiso) 

This step is the act of cleaning and inspecting anything in the workplace, machines or tools on a regular basis.  By doing this regularly you will prevent the tools and machines deteriorating, as well as ensuring the workplace is a safe environment to work in. 

This relates in with the Lean waste of Defects, and will help in keeping them low for the company.


4. Standardize (seiketsu)

This relates to making up rules, following them and enforcing them throughout the workplace.  If there is a standard set of rules across the workplace, this will reduce any unnecessary steps when carrying out the first 3 S’s.

This step may require a schedule be put in place outlining the standardized procedure for repeating the first 3 S’s. 


5. Sustain / Self-Discipline (shitsuke)

Ensure the developed processes are sustained by self-discipline of workers. 

This can also be thought of as the employees knowing what to do without being told.  The goal here is to sustain all workers habits so they become a part of their everyday routine.


Other Lean Management tools: 

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