“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
Vincent Van Gogh
Some of you might have heard about this method and some might not have. 5S is a methodology which if implemented, can help you improve your work and life progressively. Everyone wants success but it is rarely a frequent visitor to everyone. 5S methodology is a plan designed by people who have scaled heights to make sure that other people are able to do the same in everyday life and in businesses.
What is 5S?
This problem solving model utilizes five factors namely Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke (in Japanese) which in English imply Sort, Set in Order, Shining, Standardize and Sustain, respectively. It represents everything you need to do at all levels beginning from eliminating the superfluous to effectively employing management. In case you are looking for an example of a successful industry that has used this method in the past, Toyota is an epitome.
Find out how you can reach success using 5S in with following approaches:
1. Evaluate the present
Your aim here is to analyse everything you have, realise what all you do not need and enlist what all you need to change. As you begin designing the big plan, rather than getting embroiled in the shortcomings, just pause, have a look and move on to next step.
Tip:Look for useless cables, files, papers. Also check how organised people are around you.
2. Set goals
“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going.”
As soon as you decide and evaluate the present, get a clear idea of what you want to achieve with implementation of 5S. Hoping that you will be able to improve only by using the 5S would not be as effective as using it to reach specific goals.
3. Start getting rid of things
It doesn’t matter however much you loved a journal in the past or however much you planned to do with some article in a newspaper which is two years old, if something has not been used within six months, toss it away. As you throw the redundant stuff, come up with new standards to store the stuff you need and keep some empty corners for things you plan to buy.
4. Remind- again and again
Implementing something for once might be easy, what is difficult is ensuring that the new model is adopted time and again. Constantly remind people around you the rules you want them to follow because it takes some time to form a habit. Make a flowchart of the five terms, stick them on places where they might be needed to be used often. For example cabinets and doors.
You can click pictures of your surroundings when you start using 5S. Decide the time frame in which you need evaluation. Compare what you have achieved in this time frame with what your goal was. If you feel you have not achieved what you wanted, analyse again. Analyse where you went wrong and where you need to improve. There is a possibility that you might not get it right the first time, persistence is what you should focus on.
6. Practice what you preach
All changes start with you. If you own a company, it becomes essential and rather obligatory for you to follow things what you want others to follow. Maybe you can start with following the 5S all by yourself first. Once you achieve success, you can share with your employees your experience. This way you will also know how to manage the hindrances people will encounter in the process.
Do remember what Du Pont said- “You will achieve the level of safety that you demonstrate you want to achieve.”
Every step mentioned above has equal significance if you want to adopt the strategy to work for you. Right now it might seem irksome and arduous but once you start, every step would seem easier and in months you will witness the changes you thought were impossible to achieve at your workplace. All you need right now is to plan and begin.