Standardize – The 4th of the 5S’s

Now that John’s team has a highly organized, structured and clean workplace, how will they keep it that way? They have been through Sorting, Setting Limits & Locations, and Shining their workplace. It’s time to establish Standards that will enable the team to keep it that way.

There are three keys to effectively establishing 5S Standards: Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s), 5S Schedule and Visual Controls.

The team uses the written SOP’s to document who, what, when, where, and how:

Who will be responsible for each task? This could be by name, title, or by position depending on the nature of your business. You would want to use the title if it’s a task to be completed on every shift by the Operator.

What is the task? This will tell you what needs to be cleaned and what the cleaning requirements are. Clean the filler at the end of every shift is one example. Including a photograph showing what is acceptable and what is not a clean filler establishes visual standards.

When is the task required? A task may be required daily, weekly, quarterly, or at whatever interval is needed to maintain the proper 5S for your business. In some cases, you may want to designate as needed. For example, a filler in a food processing plant will need some extra cleaning if there is a filler crash. In this case you would add a requirement for cleaning as needed.

Where is the task performed? In this case, at the Pilot Line filler.

How is the task performed? Include safety precautions, personal protective equipment (gloves, face shield, safety glasses, etc.), tools and supplies needed, and the steps required to do the task properly.

Each task should have its own SOP and should be on the 5S Schedule. The 5S schedule should specify who, what, when, and have room to document the completion of the 5S requirements. That way anyone walking by the line will be able to see if the team is up to date on their 5S cleaning. This will also be a way for the team to manage the process themselves and is part of visual controls.

Now that John’s team has developed their Standards and have SOP’s, a 5S Schedule, and Visual Controls, they know how to keep the 5S PIlot Zone properly 5S’d. One question remains: Will they really maintain the high standards they have set? Or will the Pilot Line slowly creep back to the disorganized and messy line it was before? They will keep the standards up if they properly use the 5th S-Sustain. John and his team will be start the Sustain step tomorrow. Will you?

As a footnote, auditing is very subjective and scores will vary from auditor to auditor. Scheduling more than one person to perform the audits will help with this. I also like to have a scoring guideline to help remove some of the subjectivity. Recommended scoring scale is at the bottom of this5S Audit Form.

80% is considered passing. Teams will need to consistently score above 80% to be considered in Sustain mode. Scores should increase then remain steady above 90% to Sustain Excellence

See 5 Reasons for 5S or all 7 Steps to 5S. This 5s Audit Form is one I developed based on my 5S experience in Food Processing plants. Other forms are available if you do a google search on 5S Audit Forms. I would be pleased to e-mail a copy of mine to you if you request it in the comments below or contact me via twitter or LinkedIn.

Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article (also right sidebar). Your feedback is appreciated.

About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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