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5S Methodology Cheat Sheet by


There are five 5S phases: They can be translated from the Japanese as "­sor­t", "­str­aig­hte­n", "­shi­ne", "­sta­nda­rdi­ze", and "­sus­tai­n". Other transl­ations are possible. The list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effect­iveness by identi­fying and storing the items used, mainta­ining the area and items, and sustaining the new order. The decisi­on-­making process usually comes from a dialogue about standa­rdi­zation, which builds unders­tanding among employees of how they should do the work.

5S was developed in Japan and was identified as one of the techniques that enabled Just in Time manufa­ctu­ring.

Two major frameworks for unders­tanding and applying 5S to business enviro­nments have arisen, one proposed by Osada, the other by Hirano. Hirano provided a structure for improv­ement programs with a series of identi­fiable steps, each building on its predec­essor.

Seiri 整理 (Sort)

Organize and straighten up.
Remove unnece­ssary items and dispose them properly
Make work easier by elimin­ating obstacles
Reduce chance of being disturbed with unnece­ssary items
Prevent accumu­lation of unnece­ssary items
Evaluate necessary items with regard to cost or other factors
Remove all parts not in use
Segregate unwanted material from the workplace
Need fully skilled supervisor for checking on regular basis
Don't put unnece­ssary items at the workplace & define a red-tagged area to keep those unnece­ssary items

Seiton 整頓 (Syste­matic Arrang­ement)

Can also be translated as "set in order", "­str­aig­hte­n" or "­str­eam­lin­e"
Arrange all necessary items so they can be easily selected for use
Prevent loss and waste of time
Make it easy to find and pick up necessary items
Ensure first-­com­e-f­irs­t-s­erved basis
Make workflow smooth and easy
All above work should be done on regular basis

Seisou 清掃 (Shine)

Can also be translated as "­swe­ep", "­san­iti­ze", "­shi­ne", or "­scr­ub"
Clean your workplace completely
Use cleaning as inspection
Prevent machinery and equipment deteri­oration
Keep workplace safe and easy to work
Keep work place clean

Seiketsu 清潔 (Stand­ardize)

Stan­dardize the best practices in the work area.
Maintain high standards of housek­eeping and workplace organi­zation at all times.
Maintain orderl­iness. Maintain everything in order and according to its standard.
Everything in its right place.
Every process has a standard.

Shitsuke Ss 躾 (Sustain)

To keep in working order. Also translates as "do without being told" (though this doesn't begin with S)
Perform regular audits
Training and Discipline
Training is goal oriented process. Its resulting feedback is necessary monthly


The phrase "­Saf­ety­" is sometimes added. There is debate over whether including this sixth "­S" promotes safety by stating this value explic­itly, or if a compre­hensive safety program is undermined when it is relegated to a single item in an effici­enc­y-f­ocused business method­ology.


The phrase "­Sec­uri­ty" can also be added.[­ci­tation needed] To leverage security as an investment rather than an expense, the seventh "­S" identifies and addresses risks to key business categories including fixed assets (PP&E), material, human capital, brand equity, intell­ectual property, inform­ation techno­logy, assets­-in­-tr­ansit and the extended supply chain. Techniques are adapted from those detailed in Total security management (TSM) or the business practice of developing and implem­enting compre­hensive risk management and security practices for a firm’s entire value chain.

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