Guide to Implementing the Third S in 5S Shine

How to run a Lean 5S Visual Management Event. This blog will explain the Third “S” in the 5 S’s, Shine. The following blog number three in a five part series. This blog is based on a 5S Visual Management Event at one of our client partners.

When I was young, my Mom taught me a valuable lesson which helped me later in life. The lesson was “Clean as you Cook”.

Back then I begrudgingly followed her rule without knowing the impact it would have.

In this lesson “Clean as you Cook” is at the core of the Third “S” is the “5 S’s”.

This “S”, Shine is about building the habit and discipline to keep your area clean and organized all throughout the work day.

This continuous cleaning and organization is very important in Visually Managing your environment. It is very difficult to identify problems in a chaotic (disorganized) area.

How difficult would it be to find an item in a grocery store if there are no signs on the ceiling or down the aisles identifying the product in those aisles? What if the items were not placed in any logical order. The second “S”, “Set In Order” is about organizing the environment to reduce the need to search.

The third “S”, Shine is about is about managing that organization every day. Without daily management of the 5S’s, the environment will quickly slip back into chaos.

The hardest part of this “S” is the discipline.

This has to start with the leaders of the organization (execs, directors, managers, supervisors, etc.). If the leaders do not lead by example, then 5S will not sustain in your environment.

One of my favorite stories is of a Plant Manager that walked his facility every day and met with his teams of operators throughout the plant. If he saw trash in an area, he would reach down, pick it up and throw it in the trash. He didn’t yell at the operators. He didn’t tell them to go grab a broom and clean it up. He led by example.

That example was contagious. Other operators started to do the same and it soon became habit. Six months after the 5S implementation, the plant was significantly transformed.

How do we manage this “S”, “Shine”? How do build the habit of 5S? There are a number of things we can do to sustain this “S” (Shine) along with the rest of the “S’s” in 5S.

Clear definition of what is expected by the operators when comes to cleaning and organizing. This is best defined and displayed on a 5S Information Board in the employee’s area. I like to use pictures as well as a concise explanation.

The area must be Audited for compliance to the 5S Standards. The Audit results in a score. The score can be used in team evaluations. Those teams that consistently score well are rewarded. We will talk about this more in the Blog about the 4th“S”, “Standardize”.

Someone has to own or be a Champion for 5S in an area. The team in each area should alternate as Champions throughout the year.

We need a reason to do the 5S’s. A competition between departments and/or facilities promotes friendly rivalry. Promote those teams that do well at the company picnic or Christmas party. Give gift cards or a Pizza Party to the best monthly team.

Have you been a part of a 5S Visual Management Implementation that failed in the 3rd “S” (Shine) because of Management did not “Lead by Example”? If “Yes” or “No”, let us know your story.