Continuous Improvement

Lean Manufacturing


Sort, Ste in Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain

Business e-Coach   Success 360   Emfographics

Vadim Kotelnikov, founder of 1000ventures - personal logo    Kore 10 Tips    One World, One Way, icon, logo


" Kaizen means ongoing improvement involving everybody, without spending much money." ~ Masaaki Imai


5Ss 5S Kaizen 5S,5Ss,  Five Ss - 5-step Kaizen Movement


Toyota Production System


Lean Production

Characteristics    Key Features  Approaches

Lean vs. Traditional Manufacturing

Lean Enterprise: Kore 10 Tips

Just-in-Time (JIT)

3 Broad Types of Wastes    7 Wastes

The Toyota Way: 14 Principles

Glossary    Quotes



Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)

3 Basic Principles of Continuous Improvement

Quick and Easy Kaizen

Kaizen vs. Kaikaku and 10 Kakaku Commandments

Suggestion Systems

Japanese    Fun4Biz

Employee Empowerment

10 Steps    9 Ways

Quality Management

Kaizen and TQM    Areas Targeted by TQM in Japan

14 TQM Slogans at Pentel, Japan

Case Studies

7 Principles of Toyota Production System (TPS)

Canon Production System (CPS)

Fidelity Investments: Practicing Kaizen

Gold Seal    Rojee Tasha    Thara Engineering    3 US SMEs


The Five Ss

The Five Ss refer to the five dimensions of of workplace optimization: Seiri (Sort), Seiton (Set in order), Seiso (Shine, clean up), Seiketsu (Standardize), and Shitsuke (Sustain).

Like many concepts of Kaizen and Lean Manufacturing, the 5S can be interpreted narrowly or broadly, depending on circumstances of their use.

Kaizen Culture: 8 Key Elements

Implementing Kaizen: 7 Conditions

Example of a Lean Value Chain

The 5S Program defines the steps that are used to make all work spaces efficient and productive, help people share work stations, reduce time looking for needed tools and improve the work environment.

Sort: Straighten up; sort out unneeded items

Set in order: Have a place for everything

Shine: Keep the area clean

Standardize: Create rules and standard operating procedures

Sustain: Maintain the system and continue to improve it

Phases of 5S

There are 5 primary phases of 5S: sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining. Additionally, there is an additional phase, safety, that is sometimes included.

Sorting (Seiri): Differentiate between the necessary and unnecessary and discard the unnecessary. Eliminate all unnecessary tools, parts, instructions: work-in-process; unnecessary tools; unused machinery; defective products; papers and documents. Go through all tools, materials, etc., in the plant and work area. Keep only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded.

Setting in Order (Seiton): There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. The place for each item should be clearly labeled or demarcated. Items should be arranged in a manner that promotes efficient work flow. Workers should not have to repetitively bend to access materials. Each tool, part, supply, piece of equipment, etc. should be kept close to where it will be used (i.e. straighten the flow path). Seiton is one of the features that distinguishes 5S from "standardized cleanup".

Shining or Sweeping or Cleanliness / Systematic Cleaning (Seiso): Keep the workplace tidy and organized. At the end of each shift, clean the work area and be sure everything is restored to its place. This makes it easy to know what goes where and ensures that everything is where it belongs. A key point is that maintaining cleanliness should be part of the daily work not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy.

Standardizing (Seiketsu): Work practices should be consistent and standardized. Everyone should know exactly what his or her responsibilities are for adhering to the first 3 S's.



Sustaining the discipline (Shitsuke): Maintain and review standards. Once the previous 4 S's have been established, they become the new way to operate. Maintain focus on this new way and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways. While thinking about the new way, also be thinking about yet better ways. When an issue arises such as a suggested improvement, a new way of working, a new tool or a new output requirement, review the first 4 S's and make changes as appropriate.