Tools for planning and monitoring cleanliness and organisation


For a clean and functional environment


Seiri : Sort Eliminate the unnecessary

Getting rid is the first of the 5S priorities. Start by getting rid of everything that is not strictly necessary. It is just as important nowadays to get rid of stuff as to keep it. The key issue is knowing what to keep and what not to.

Seiton : Streamline Tidy up: a place for everything and everything inits place Tidying up means putting things in specific places so they can be found straight away when needed, thus avoiding wasting time by searching.

Seiso : Stay clean Getrid of the sources of dirt Cleaning of offices, work places, and production tools is much more than cleanliness for cleanliness’ sake. When it comes to machines and tooling, for instance, cleaning is the first step toward self-maintenance. It’s often while cleaning that anomalies and premature wear are detected.

Seiketsu : Standardize Apply cleanliness and tidiness across the board “Order” is the ongoing application of the above rules in order to maintain tidiness and cleanliness. It’s this step that defines the rules whereby the workplace will remain clear of extraneous objects and be kept clean. To eliminate the risk of disorderliness, Takashi Osada recommends visual management, using a number of aids.

Shitsuke : Sustain Adhere together and observe the rules that have been established The rules that have been established are there to be followed; therefore the staff must be urged and encouraged to stick to them. This involves doing what has to be done as a matter of routine, so that 5S becomes an ingrained habit.


This practice from Japan is the result of a determination to unclutter workstations by ridding them of items that have no place there, to ensure they remain orderly and clean, and to instil the methodical discipline that is indispensable to quality, quality assurance, and good timing. It applies just as much to the office as to the factory and is based on simple, common sense rules that many people neglect. To guarantee the successful implementation of a 5S scheme, these considerations must be brought into effect one after the other and carried to their conclusion. A 5S plan must be drawn up, stating the planned actions and the timeline of their implementation.


5S is a simple method that gets the whole staff involved and can be applied to any factory (and offices too!). By seeking the succession in a set of images, participants are motivated by their understanding of the content they will be asked to pass on to their colleagues.

A “field” application is set up once training is complete, which seals the motivation of the participants, for whom the possibility of permanent progress becomes a concrete reality.


Regular checks are carried out in the aim of verifying whether the actions undertaken are properly followed and are effective. The zone score is an assessment of good working practice in a delimited area—a production line or island, a work team, etc.—summarized in a grid. This system shows the positive and weak points at a glance and allows corrective actions to be quickly implemented where required.

Whenever 5S rules are applied, we invariably remark the following:

- an improvement in productivity, efficiency, and quality.
- improved safety: fewer accidents reported.
- fewer stoppages and technical failures.
- better organization, saving a lot of time.
- improved visibility of malfunctions.
- staff with greater awareness of total quality requirements and better job motivation.