Step 1: Start with the Leadership Team
- As with any improvement effort, implementation of the 5S's must be
driven from the top of the organization.
- Only Top Management can create the environment needed and give the
effort the visibility and importance it needs for long term
Step 2: Build the Infrastructure
- The 5S effort should fit within an organization's existing
- Divide & conquer by establishing 5S subcommittees for
Communications, Training, Project Support, and Best Practices.
Step 3: Launch Communications
- Conduct short, focused, and frequent communication sessions with all
employees on the what, why, how, when, and who of the 5S initiative.
- Deliver the message in several formats including group meetings,
using the organizations' intranet or website, bulletin board
postings, and internal newsletters.
Step 4: Train Teams in 5S Techniques
- Develop a plan to train everyone in basic 5S concepts and then
supplement the generic training with just-in-time training in
- Note that the initial teams may need to be trained in
problem-solving techniques and root cause analysis.
- Additionally, there may be a need to provide training for the
leadership team in communication skills, recognition strategies, and
Step 5: Begin 5S Pilots
- Select areas that need the 5S's (and that you project will be
successful in adopting 5S practices) as pilot areas. What is learned
in the pilot areas will be used to help develop a full roll-out
- The first pilot work areas to receive 5S treatment should be ones
with high visibility. For example, select work areas in which nobody
wants to work because they are so congested or dirty.
Step 6: Establish Best Practices
- Creation (and use) of a Best Practices Database can help multiply
the impact of 5S successes by providing the means to share successes
throughout the organization.
Step 7: Develop a Full Roll-Out Plan
- After completing the initial pilots and before involving the rest of
the organization in the 5S effort, step back and evaluate how the
- Get ideas from members of the pilots about how to strengthen the 5S
process and use those ideas to develop a roll-out plan.
- A comprehensive roll-out plan defines the sequence of events,
establishes roles, responsibilities, and performance measures.
Step 8: Continually Evaluate & Adjust
- As with any process, as lessons are learned, make improvements to
the 5S effort.
- Modify and strengthen the infrastructure, select new tools to add to
the "arsenal," develop improved methods to measure and communicate
progress, and challenge work areas to constantly improve.