5S Overview 151

Five S Overview provides a thorough introduction to the purpose and process of 5S quality initiatives. This class includes separate discussions on each of the five steps, along with information on challenges, advantages, and possible assessment tools.

Many companies implement quality initiatives to improve operations and eliminate waste. 5S is a quality method that promotes organization, efficiency, and team work through several sequential steps. After completing this class, users will understand the value of each 5S step and be better equipped to execute and evaluate 5S.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 16

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Five S: Introduction
  • Five S Steps
  • Step 1: Sort
  • Step 2: Set in Order
  • Step 3: Sweep
  • Step 4: Standardize
  • Step 5: Sustain
  • 5S Review
  • 5S plus 1: Safety
  • Implementing a 5S Program
  • 5S Communication Boards
  • Assessing the Situation
  • Assessing the Situation: Spaghetti Diagrams
  • Challenges to 5S Implementation
  • Advantages of 5S
  • 5S Review
  • Define Five S.
  • Identify the steps involved in 5S.
  • Describe the Sort step of 5S.
  • Describe the Set in Order step of 5S.
  • Describe the Sweep step of 5S.
  • Describe the Standardize step of 5S.
  • Describe the Sustain step of 5S.
  • Describe 5S plus 1.
  • Describe the purpose of 5S implementation.
  • Describe the purpose of communication boards to 5S.
  • Identify ways to assess 5S success before, during, and after implementation.
  • Identify ways to assess 5S success before, during, and after implementation.
  • Describe the challenges to implementing a 5S program.
  • Describe the advantages to implementing a 5S program.
Vocabulary Term

5S plus 1

5S+1. A version of the 5S philosophy that includes a sixth S: Safety. 5S+1 educates workers on safety issues and addressing potential safety hazards.

5S plus 1

5S+1. A version of the 5S philosophy that includes a sixth step: Safety. 5S+1 educates workers on safety concerns and potential hazards.

baseline reading

An initial measurement, taken while a machine is in working order, which technicians use later to detect abnormal operations. Baseline readings are similar to a 5S strategy that tracks changes and improvements using initial assessments.

communication board

A method of publicly displaying information about 5S implementation and improvement in the workplace. The communication board should be posted in a central, highly visible location.

Five S

A targeted list of activities that promotes organization and efficiency within a workspace. The Five S (5S) steps are: Sort, Set in Order, Sweep, Standardize, and Sustain.

floor plans

A two-dimensional drawing that depicts the arrangement of the workplace. Before and after floor plans are often used to track 5S improvements.


A method of protecting employees from accidental machine startup. Lockout/tagout includes proper locking and labeling of machines that are hazardous to nearby employees.

personal protective equipment

PPE. Articles of clothing or safeguarding devices that workers use to prevent injury in the workplace. Safety glasses, insulated gloves, face masks, and earplugs are examples of PPE.

red tag

A method of 5S sorting that attaches red tags to items that are identified as unnecessary. Red tagged items should be removed from the work area.

Set in Order

The second step in 5S. Set in Order, or "straightening," requires reorganizing workplace materials to ensure easy access and optimal efficiency.

shadow board

A device that contains outlines of designated tools to show where they should be stored. Shadow boards are used in the straightening phase of 5S to organize tools and materials.


The first step in 5S. Sort requires separating unnecessary material from necessary materials in the workplace in order to eliminate clutter and create additional space.

spaghetti chart

A tool for lean and 5S improvement. Spaghetti charts track the movement of an employee throughout the work area and identifies areas of waste.


The fourth step of 5S. Standardize requires establishing company-wide practices for maintaining a clean, orderly, and efficient workplace.

status board

A method of tracking 5S improvement and communicating it to employees. A 5S status board often contains before and after floor plans and spaghetti charts.

status board

A method of tracking 5S improvement and communicating it to employees. Status boards often contain before and after photos or details about current and future projects.


The fifth step in 5S. Sustain requires all employees to work together for the long-term maintenance of the 5S program.


The third step of 5S. Sweep, or "shine," requires that all areas of the work environment be cleaned and inspected.