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5 Minute 5S

Leaders, Employees and investors adore clean well organized environments. Why?, because it gives the facility the appearance of being safe, efficient and professional looking.

So it does not come as a surprise that 5S becomes the common starting point for organizations to use to embark on their Lean Journey. However, many jump to solution with a frantic 5S+ 1 initiative without doing some preliminary thinking and planning first. But we will return to this topic later in the article.

Most of the organizations we work with seem to resonate with our suggestion of integrating the theme of “5 minute 5S+1” into daily activities. Usually the intended topic is captured while doing Daily Report-Outs and documented on the board.

5 Minute 5S+1 is built on the theme that many hands can make a large task seem small. Conduct the math … 12 people who can devote 5 minutes daily will provide you with an hour of improvements which can amount to over 250 hours annually … can you imagine what your facility would look like if you could divert 250 hours towards enhancements? Nearly every employee can find some miscellaneous minutes during a busy work day. What we want to do is to divert some of those minutes towards enhancing and improving our work environment. 5 Minute 5S+1 should not be limited just to the shop floor but should also be applied within the office.

Unfortunately, as many organizations adopt the concept of 5 Minute 5S+1 it just seems to stimulate random acts of organization without supporting a master plan. Or it just seems to focus on the “Sort” portion of 5S+1. And then when we conduct a return visit people are returning to the same location to re-perform their 5 minute 5S+1.

To make your 5 Minute 5S+1 more effective start with the creation and communication of a 5S+1 master plan. Your master plan needs to include policies related to color, label standards along with the following traditional questions being answered;

· What is the purpose or function of the area? · What activities are performed in the area? · How do people know what to do? · How do they know how to do it? · How do they know how they are doing?

· How will material be conveyed?

· What are the production and replenishment triggers? · What is done if performance expectations are not met?

5S should not be an activity but needs to be a justifiable investment of both time and money. The team should start with a conversation and the Creation of a Visual Standard Work Instruction and also completing a spaghetti diagram. This will be necessary to conduct a root cause analysis on how the area became disorganized so that when we come to the “Sustain” portion of 5S+1 it will be easier to integrate Sustainability for our invested efforts.

The team should be able to define how much time will be saved through reduced walk, reduced search, reduced change-over times or a combination of all which can then be calculated into a cost reduction.

So let us assume that the team has created a VSWI and has justified why they are prepared to invest their “gift of time” towards a specific 5S+1 activity … we now have a plan. It is now time to work our plan …

Now 5 minutes is not a long time but it is still significant. Most people will become passionate and engaged in activity and will want a mini-project to be completed to conclusion during the assigned time. Reality will typically define something different. So let us review how a typical 5 Minute 5S+1 activity should look like during a week of activity;

Day 1 – Target a shelf within the work area to be organized and begin the “Sort” process. Make sure to show folks the neat stuff you have culled.

Day 2 – Take what is left and begin to “Set in Order” keeping in mind to consider the frequency that certain items will be used and the most frequently used items are the most accessible. At this point the team should be defining the resources required to make a permanent solution, labels, foam for organizing drawers, fast wall, shadows etc …

Day 3 – “Shine” time to conduct a deep cleaning of the target area. This may take more than 5 minutes … but is a very important step. Most folks want to jump to creating shadow boxes but we find time after time … you need a very clean surface before anything will stick to the surface.

Day 4 – “Standardize” staying compliant to the organization’s 5S+1 policies and principals begin to make your re-organized area permanent.

Day 5 – Review your VSWI to insure that your 5S+1 objectives have been met (meet the numbers), and that folks are appreciative of the newly organized shelf. Update your VSWI and TPM sheets and post near the location to support “Sustainability”… make sure you take a picture of your well deserved team accomplishment.

Studies have shown that people retain information as follows:

· What we read: 10% · What we hear: 20% · What we see: 40% · What we hear and see: 50% · What we say ourselves: 70% · What we do ourselves: 90%

Therefore, it only makes sense to use more visual techniques that are 40% effective as opposed to strictly verbal or written techniques which are 10-20% effective. In addition, visibility provides other benefits. These include, but are not limited to: improved probability of sustaining standard work practices; a greater sense of belonging, accountability, and pride; increased confidence in the organization within customers, suppliers or other "guests" to the organization.

Hence, your adoption and guidance of a 5 Minute 5S+1 program within your organization will insure a continuous improvement journey with an element of sustainability and commitment. Just make sure that your folks have access to 5S+1 organizational enablers either within their area or through your Kaizen Shop.

If you are looking for some enhanced 5S+1 organizational enablers you can always visit our



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