Blog » Pages, Quality, Engineering, Poems » 5-S - The house keeping tool, in verse

Say so! 5-S is next colleagues satisfaction
The poem Follows here under

about 5S

Traditionally 5 - S is termed as a way of housekeeping. On a simple level it is tidying up, recuperating resources, but approached properly it can be much more than that.

The S’s of 5S are originally Japanese words. Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke
They not-literarily mean :Sort, Straighten, Shine, Systemise and Sustain
(American’s added Safety to 6 S’s). I have been commonly adopted to try and use 5 meaningful English words beginning with S.

Another form talks of more infusion into 5 -S. Termed CANDO which refer to Cleanup, Arranging, Neatness, Discipline and Ongoing Improvement but is fundamentally the same.

Sort / Cleanup (Seiri)
The first step of 5S involves getting rid of rubbish and clutter as you might expect, it also includes cleaning, getting rid of dust and oil etc. In a machine shop it would include dumping broken equipment or tools and materials that have not been used in a significant length of time and are not likely to be used in the near future. Applying 5S to an office environment would include removing files and papers that have no use in the near future (often things you sort through on a daily basis wasting time doing so in the process). By getting rid of these unused items you can free up space, reduce the number of obstacles you have to walk around and find other more important items needed on a daily basis much more quickly.
“ Tagging” items is a common approach when deciding what is to be thrown away. An area is targeted, items likely to be disposed of are tagged with a red tag and a date, if the item is not used after a certain period of time (often somewhere between 1 to 6 months) it is then disposed of.

Straighten / Arranging (Seiton)

This phase of 5S is all about keeping things in their rightful place. Tools are put where they are needed, often utilising shadow boards thereby making sure they are to hand and labeled as they should be.Ergonomics are taken into account, such that commonly used items are stored within easy reach, reducing the need for bending, stretching and excessive walking. Wheels are put on items that have to be moved, perhaps tool boxes and portable workbenches or storage chests.
All these things can be summed up if you compare a kitchen and typical garage. In a garage tools, paint tins, oil and dust sheets are often left around requiring a degree of searching in order to find what you are looking for. Compare that to a kitchen where cutlery is separated out into compartments in drawers, pans are easily to hand. Generally a kitchen is much tidier and easier to work in where most people can find the items they need.

Shine / Neatness (Seiso)
Once the rubbish has been disposed of and everything has been given its proper place, this phase of 5S is all about maintaining the newly found order. Here the responsibility for workplace tidiness is moved back to the operators from the cleaners. Daily 5 – 10 minute cleaning routines are established to maintain a clean and tidy working environment. Operators are made responsible for their own working area keeping equipment clean and in good order and making sure tools are where they should be.

In a similar way to pre and post flight checks that a pilot might carry out, a cleaning regime is carefully documented and timed to make sure enough time is given to carry out the necessary work and everybody know what is required of them. It is important to make sure everyone has the right level of training for the tasks they have been assigned and that all this is noted in the “flight checks” documentation (which of course have their own place and should be kept to hand).

Systemise / Discipline (Seiketsu)
You could sum up this phase of 5S as “Maintaining routine”. Once the workplace has got through the first three phases it is often difficult to keep it up to the new standards you have set yourself. Do not underestimate how difficult it will be to maintain your new tidy work area, even Toyota have found that it can take months to instill this mind set into their employees.
Random, detailed audits of different work area are often used to help maintain standards. These should be suitably strict, both praising good practice and highlighting areas for improvement. Trophies and other staff incentives including making the audit results a part of staff appraisals have been used with different companies according to company culture.

Sustain / Ongoing improvement, (Shitsuke)
From now on, we are moving into the area of “Kaizen” or ongoing improvement. All the previous steps of 5S have been about creating and maintaining a clean and tidy working environment. This phase of 5S is about moving forward not just maintaining the standards you’ve set yourself but building on those and raising the bar.

It means not just cleaning up spills and leaks but tackling the underlying causes of those problems. In order to do this it requires that records be kept of problems, when they occur, how often, how long they lasted etc. Having identified the biggest problems (perhaps using a Pareto analysis) action to tackle the sources of those problems can be targeted accordingly.

This phase of 5S involves a long term culture change to one where systems and standards are accepted and valued as a way of improvement. Operators question what they can see is out of place and look beyond the symptoms of a problem to tackle the underlying cause.

Say so! 5-S is next colleagues satisfaction

Take, a case of household, hospital or a manufacturing scene,
If some thing elevates people’s morale for a scenario all green,
raising targets for higher yield, freedom from defect as to Lean,
with a symbiosis of housekeeping, taxing targets turn no mean,
such realisation is a first step to marry the “Total Quality’ queen

You call them 5-S, which Japanese exploit so well for successes;
Who practices them successively, so opens up a box of blessings,
as Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke jointly present a thesis,
duly integrating lean, serene and all green manufacturing basics;
obviating confusion and redundancies, there upon lay emphasis,

“There is no shirking in self help” believed even Mahatma Gandhi,
‘Each cleanse one’s own workplace’, for all-sheeny community,
This infact is the paradigm that brought Japan up like a celebrity.
A small country so well kept, 5-S helped enhance potential abilities
Let Indian work systems similarly be lean, cut off all redundancies.

To shoot for 5S: try first to Sort, the late night scrolls in Rule ‘Seiri’,
Enable marshalling wastes fully, warily appraising their recyclability.
Various blockades are eliminated be in money, inventory or junk,
It sets in a jubilating mood for Just in time, Kaizen or their cousins
That was just a beginning, of implementing 1st S with 5-S’s alacrity

When S-1 of 5-S makes system lean, it’s time to stack all the guns
by designating definitive places, removing chaos to inverse of Tons;
assign tags or tools to known locales to allocate this ‘S’ as Seiton!.
Next; Seiso Says so! Spic-n-span displays are up after execution.
In obviating time redundancies, safety risks; is a universal solution.

The key still is in an Overhaul, in systems, and resources included,
As each day begins, the dynamic content is tweaked & lubricated,
When rejuvenation is holistic, a journey of Seiketsu is epilogued,
A complete empowerment to workmen, in mature outfit is implicit,
So! Make high quality living a habit, and improve hygiene very bit.

A way of life, in harmony with neighbors, each clamoring to relay,
Is what ‘Shitsuke’ advocates, when 5-S system continues to play.
A discipline and standardization of high order, with a fine display,
of excellence in all operations & sections, with no sign of dismay,
That’s a product of 5 S, when implementation circles all the way.

So! Japanese had smarted, with’ TQM Queen they long Party’ed
Similar implementations too can dig up exquisite results; and yen!
Say, Each new practitioners of 5-S is promised wonders; Amen!
Hence now on.. you may examine each disorder, for introspection,
for a wherewithal to the ‘next’ colleagues hi-customer satisfaction.

© 2002 - 2006 Prof Priyavrat Thareja

- Posted on March 5th, 2007 in Pages, Quality, Engineering, Poems | 5,637 Views |


2 Responses to “5-S - The house keeping tool, in verse”

1. Posted bySteve Phillips on June 6th, 2007 at 8:18 pm

What a load of waffle!!
Dont quite get the point to it. I was expected a great little teaching tool.
It is difficult to put to verse
Soory but maybe 5S was just never meant to put into verse!!!

2. Posted byPriyavrat on January 2nd, 2008 at 11:42 am

Cando : (Literally the English phrase able to do something).

A Japanese inspired technique,
in English standing for :
C Clean Up (get rid of what is unnnecessary);
A Arrange (organise the workplace);
N Neatness (ensure everything is in its right place);
D Discipline (conform to standard procedures);
O Ongoing Improvements (look for ways to make procedures more effective).
Closely related to 5-S …….SSSSS.
The phrase ‘can-do’ is also used informally to mean that spirit of determination and energy needed to fulfil a task.


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