5s is a simple and highly effective set of lean manufacturing techniques that removes waste from the work environment through a better workplace organization, general cleanliness and effective visual communication.
5s is the name of a workplace organization methodology that uses a list of five Japanese words which are seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. Transliterated or translated into English, they all start with the letter “S”. The list describes how items are stored and how the new order is maintained. The decision-making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization which builds a clear understanding among employees of how work should be done. It also instils ownership of the process in each employee.
There are 5 primary traditional phases of 5S: sorting, straightening, systematic cleaning, standardizing, and sustaining. Lately, there are two other phases sometimes included, safety & security.