5S is a system for maintaining visual order, cleanliness and good organization practices in the workplace. The name originates from five Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke. Analogous expressions in English are Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

Definitions of 5S

Physical separation of needed items from unnecessary and appropriate disposition of the unnecessary.


Visual labeling and exposing all needed items in such a way that everyone can find them and easily put them back in the right place.


Cleaning the workplace until it shines, while at the same time identifying wastes.



Establishing work standards that enable efficient use of the first three “S”.


Maintain discipline in using the 5S, continuously raise the bar and improve the system.


    Implementation roadmap for 5S varies with company size and industry. Many successful sites follow this scenario:

    1. Create structures supporting the implementation process: 5S Champion, Steering Committee and 5S trainers.
    2. Divide the site into zones and develop an implementation roadmap adjusted to available resources. The whole implementation should take no more than 2 years.
    3. Conduct initial training in the zones and implement according to roadmap.
    4. Develop and implement a control system such as daily patrols, monthly audits, etc.
    5. Develop and implement a Visual Management system with metrics showing critical process parameters as well as 5S levels.

    The above scheme illustrates “hard” elements of change implementation. Successful companies put just as much emphasis on the soft elements: motivating employees, promoting successes and training managers to become true leaders of the workplace.

    Enables conducting 5S workshops using internal resources  and implementing the system autonomously. More information.

    5S will increase productivity, reduce machine breakdowns, improve product quality, reduce production costs, and augment the knowledge of the workforce. 5S enables continuous improvement and is the basis for introducing other Lean Management tools, such as Kaizen, SMED or TPM.

    The workshop combines learning foundations of 5S with their implementation in the pilot area. Participants identify and remove unnecessary items, clean and organize the area in a visual manner. They also brainstorm work standards that will help sustain generated improvements.

    The workshop is illustrated with examples from various industries. At the end the team presents results to management.

    Participants: max. 12 people
    Duration: 2 days x 8 hours

    DAY 1

    • Introduce foundations of continuous improvement, link to Lean Management
    • Conduct 5S Simulation
    • Explain and implement 1S – removal of unnecessary items
    • Explain 2S – role of visualization in workplace management
    • Explain 3S – inspection while cleaning
    • Develop a plan to implement 2S and 3S

    DAY 2

    • Implement action items in the pilot area
    • Develop work standards – 4S
    • Conduct 5S audit
    • Present results to management