Tuesday, December 1, 2009

5s is not Cleaning

5s is not cleaning, period.

Consider the following scenario.
You are trying to implement lean and you are giving your first steps by trying to introduce a 5s program or perhaps you have been already implementing 5s for a while and the people in your company keep relating 5s with cleaning.
When you asked them to tell you what is 5s, their answer is :5s is "that cleaning program" what, what do you do, how do you explain that 5s is not cleaning??

Here are some tips to do this:
1- start by explaning what the 5s are: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Stadardize, Sustain. By doing this you should make the point that only during the "Shining" is where some cleaning is involved. The other 4 "s" do not have anything to do with "Cleaning"
2- make very clear that the purpose of 5s as (as well as other lean tools) is to "make problems visible".
3- Performe the 5s simulation called: " The Numbers game". This simulation walks the participant through the 5s process by purposely not using the S of Shining (the one that involves some cleaning). A complete description of the simulation can be found by clicking here:

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