What is 5-S?

Visual tools are an important part of Lean that we have not specifically discussed yet. Lean advocates visual tools such as charts and diagrams (for analysis) and lights and colors (in the workplace itself), in the belief that they increase transparency, communication, and visibility.

For visual tools to have their maximum impact, the work area must first be cleaned and organized. This is called a 5-S. This process may take place at an individual workstation, a team floor, or throughout an entire company. There are many templates and checklists out there for conducting a 5-S. We will offer a brief guide here to get you started, but we strongly encourage you to customize it for your workplace.