Five ‘S’ is one of the basic tenets of lean manufacturing, trouble free operation and execution.
Though it originated mainly for manufacturing facilities, it can be extended to service facilities and also personal management with some modification.
It originated in Japan as a work environment enhancing measure, but the Japanese believe this visually oriented exercise is useful not just for improving the physical environment but also for Total Quality Management processes
Let us see how this Five ‘S’ can facilitate us in personal management.
The dominating principle of Five S is to create ownership for every object and objective in the personal management, so that nothing is neglected.
In the first step (sorting out), individuals sort their belongings into needs (used regularly, used irregularly) and wants (may be used later or scrap).
Making a systematic layout of the living and work place, specifying the storage areas and deciding where to put each item, follow this.
The third phase (spic-n-span) monitors whether the earlier steps (S1 and S 2) are being regularly and effectively carried out and the place is kept clean.
What follows next is to standardise the above prescriptions and practices that are to be followed by the individuals. These include making timetables and indexes that indicate where you can find what and when, using charts and visuals.
Finally, it is self-discipline that is required to sustain Five S.
Many individuals have found that by developing a high quality personal management and instilling discipline in the form of procedures and work instructions, they devoted more energy and time to achieve results
The Five S practice not only helps to impress others but also to establish effective processes for good impressions and quality performance.
Five S is a part of the kaizen family that talks about continuous innovation.
The best thing about Five S is that it is extremely simple and yet powerful. More importantly, the benefits are visible immediately
How is Five S implemented practically? - Split Five S into just two levels: implementation and sustenance, and continuous improvement
Is it not simple? Why not we make an attempt at it?