5S is an important tool from the Lean Management toolbox. It focuses on a clean and structured working environment. 5S is about viewing your organisation from the perspective of a customer visiting your company for the first time. What does this person see that you – after so much time – no longer see? 5S represents the activities that you undertake in order to create a clean working environment:
- Sort (only what you need at your workplace)
- Systematic arrangement (give everything a permanent place)
- Shine (clean machinery and the working environment)
- Standardise (put agreements and instructions in place for the new layout)
- Sustain (encourage new improvements and make sure that working arrangements are observed)
5S is ideal for production environments such as sites or factories. But it can also be used in an office environment for e.g. categorising physical or digital file structures, filing cabinets or employees’ desks.