10 Steps for Effective Implementation of 5S

Manoj Singh

5S is considered as foundation and gateway of all kind of improvements. Successfully implemented 5S gives amazing results through employee workplace discipline. Remember, serious commitment from top management is required for successful implementation of 5S.

In this article, Manoj has explained how you can implement 5S effectively in 10 steps.

You might be knowing what 5S is. If not see the definition of 5S as follows;

Sort: Remove unwanted item from workplace and dispose them properly

Set in order: Arrange every item as per its usage frequency making it easily available for use – “A place for everything and everything in its place”

Shine: Clean the workplace and look for the source, which is adding dirty substance and work towards eliminating that source

Standardize: Everything in right order as per set standards, with high standard of housekeeping. Each workplace should have proper layout display

Sustain: Properly trained team / individuals which practice 5S without being told. Series of audits are done to understand the effectiveness

10 Steps for Effective Implementation of 5S


1. Complete buy in from top management for 5S implementation – It is very important before you go for 5S implementation you should bring top management onboard. They should know clearly about the difficulties and benefits of 5S implementation, and ready to give their full support for it.

2. Prepare Internal trainers on 5S topic – Develop internal trainers for 5S implementation. Internal trainer must be trained properly by 5S expert or from formal institute. Select internal trainer from employees who is keen to become trainer and willing to spare his time for the effective implementation of 5S.

3. Departmental training by internal trainers – Train senior team members of each department, clearly making them understand the benefits and commitment required by each team members towards 5S implementation. Prepare detail time and action plan for training each department team.

4. Initiate pilot implementation in each department – Each department should initiate the 5S project in their respective work area. All projects need to be documented.

5. Train all employees in each department with Pilot implementation example of 5S – For successful company-wide 5S implementation; training of all employees in each department is necessary. Pilot 5S implementation example could be used for training and motivating other employees, since it was being done by their team leaders of department. 5S posters, banners and pocket books should be distributed in each department.

6. Take commitment from each employee for initiating 5S in their work areas – During 5S training take commitment from all employees for initiating 5S in their respective work area. Every individual employee’s contribution is required for the sustainable 5S implementation.

7. Facilitate and supervise the mass implementation of 5S – Employees need guidance and handholding during implementation. They might have lots of queries while doing implementation. In such case internal trainer need to answer their questions and verify their understanding for effective implementation.

8. Weekly and monthly audit for checking the performance of 5S implementation – In order to make company-wide 5S implementation sustainable, regular audit needs to be performed with set standards for each work place. Audit summary report need to be circulated among all departments.

9. Evaluate and identify the best 5S implementation in each department – After audit best 5S implementation needs to be identified in each department and also best 5S implemented department on monthly basis.

10. Celebrate through monthly recognition from top management for the best 5S implementation – Best 5S project and departmental performance need to be rewarded. This keeps high motivation towards 5S projects which helps to sustain the company wide 5S implementation.

About the Author: With more than 14 years’ experience in the garment industry, Manoj is an expert in productivity and quality improvement, and holds a ‘Six Sigma Black Belt’ in lean management techniques. He has done consulting for over 7.5 years and his services has benefited above 70 factories in India, Bangladesh, Sri lanka, Myanmar & Dubai. He has actively worked with Factories, Brands, and International funding agencies, Garment Clusters, Boards & Councils and other consulting firms.   He has been working as Director/ Executive Director (Training & Development)  for four leading apparel groups in Bangladesh

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