Lean 5S Shitsuke, Sustain, custom and practice


5S Shitsuke


5S Shitsuke is the fifth and final stage of 5S; 5S being a lean manufacturing tool for ensuring standardized, efficient operations as well as excellent housekeeping. By implementing 5S within your organization you work to eliminate the causes of Muda, Mura and Muri, especially the seven wastes of lean.
This final stage of 5S is probably the hardest to achieve of all the stages; many organizations failing to achieve it in my experience.


Purpose of 5S Shitsuke, Sustain


5S is not a one off exercise, if it were then after a few months your work environment and working practices would fall back to where they were prior to your 5S implementation program; a  situation that I have witnessed far too often over the years.

The purpose of this final stage is to sustain the gains made and make 5S part of your everyday routine in the organization; ensuring that we do not fall back to our old ways and lose all of the 5S Benefits.


Implementing 5S Shitsuke


Sustain 5S Lean

5S Story board to help sustain lean efforts.

There are a number of things that you can do to try to make 5S part of the culture of your organization, the first is to lead by example; ensure that the management of your organization follow the principles of 5S in their own areas. Make sure that when they are on the shop floor (the Gemba) they look for anything that is out of place or missing and flag for attention.

If your supervisors and management are on the lookout for inventory stacked out of position, tooling that is missing from its home untidy areas, overflowing skips and so forth they will help to enforce the principles of 5S.
If your operators are allowed time and trained to continually improve on their 5S efforts, through the use of quality circles or kaizen, they will feel that they truly own their areas and have a say in the destiny of the company. A motivated and loyal workforce working to improve the company is the most powerful tool that you could have at your disposal.
A 5S storyboard is a useful item to put up in the area, allow the team to display before and after photographs and any other information that they feel relevant. This can also be used to continually improve the area by having an area for issues and suggestions to be recorded etc.
The last thing that I would mention is the use of Audits, often implemented purely as show with the items above missing from the equation. They are a helpful and efficient way to ensure the maintenance of the current state and if used effectively they can drive improvement.


Sustain 5S PDF and 5S Presentation Download

5S Shitsuke or Sustain – 5S PDF download

5S Shitsuke Sustain – 5S PPT Download


5S Sustain Video



5S Audits


5S Audits to help sustain your 5S efforts are effective if there is reall attention given to them and follow through to correct issues and to celebrate success.

An audit checklist should be put together, either a generalized one usable for all areas or specific for each individual area with detailed and specific checks to be made. It is best to include some form of scoring but avoid subjective scoring methods, by this I mean rating an area for cleanliness on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being poor and 10 being excellent would get probably 5 different scores from 5 different people. Scores should be awarded for specific attainment.
Audits should not be conducted by people that work in the area being audited, who would really want to mark themselves down after all! Select auditors from other areas of the company or if possible select from management to show the management’s commitment to the process.
Audits should be conducted weekly initially but can be made less frequent when improvement has been demonstrated. Scores should be charted and displayed prominently within the area so that everyone can see them, thus either giving the team a reason to be proud or motivating them to make improvement.
Many companies give awards for the “best kept area”, these need not be expensive; a works t-shirt or baseball cap are often all that  is required.



If you have any questions  or observations regarding Lean 5S Shitsuke (Sustain, custom and practice) or would like to share how you have managed to sustain your 5S efforts then please leave a comment below.


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