The 5s Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain is a systematic approach to workplace organisation to make the workspace safe, efficient, and effective. This is achieved by going through items in the workspace and removing what’s unnecessary, cleaning, arranging, and setting up procedures to continuously perform tasks associated with these 5 steps.  For this to work efficiently, the steps should occur in order.

Organise the work area using:

  • Sort (eliminate that which is not needed)
  • Set In Order (organize remaining items)
  • Shine (clean and inspect work area)
  • Standardize (write standards for above)
  • Sustain (regularly apply the standards)

Preparing for 5S

The implementation of 5S must be prepared first. This means, before you start implementing 5S in your work area, you must have the following 5S resources:

  • Camera or screenshots to capture before and after states
  • 5S board or equivalent visual display to plan 5S activities and track progress
  • 5S Audit Form to monitor progress and identify improvements
  • White Tags or other method of identifying unwanted items so they can be moved to a holding area

         as part of Step 1: Sort

  • Colour paint, tape, stickers, and relevant methods of labelling to enable Set in Order
  • Labeling machine to label material and tool locations / file naming standards
  • Cleaning supplies and maintenance routines for Step 3: Shine
  • Other resources as needed, e.g. for shadow boards, data storage protocols

Download our 5S tool below that includes a 5S Board, a 5S audit and 5S White Tags.