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

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.


Lean Manufacturing: 10 Tips



Key Features of Lean Manufacturing

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... More


Canon Production System (CPS)

5Ss at Canon

Canon's Suggestion System




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

5 Features of Lean Approach



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.




Vadim Koelnikov personal logo

for Trainers

Efficiency & Quality