The Japanese Rules to Regulate the Production Halls

5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. They all start with the letter "S". The list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order. The decision-making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization, which builds understanding among employees of how they should do the work.

- Sorting (Seiri)
Eliminate all unnecessary tools, parts. Go through all tools, materials, and so forth in the plant and work area. Keep only essential items and eliminate what is not required, prioritizing things per requirements and keeping them in easily-accessible places. Everything else is stored or discarded.

- Straightening or Setting in Order to Flow or Streamlining (Seiton)
Arrange the work, workers, equipment, parts, and instructions in such a way that the work flows free of waste through the value added tasks with a division of lab our necessary to meet demand. This is by far the most misunderstood and incorrectly applied S and has been responsible for many lean transformations failing to produce the benefits expected. When applied correctly with flow established this step eliminates the majority of the non-value-added time and allows the rest of the zero defect philosophy to be enabled. Put simply, until you have an orderly flow, you cannot have an orderly flow of problems to solve and the notion of zero defects is impossible.

- Systematic Cleaning (Seiso)
Clean the workspace and all equipment, and keep it clean, tidy and organized. At the end of each shift, clean the work area and be sure everything is restored to its place. This step ensures that the workstation is ready for the next user and that order is sustained.

- Standardize (Seiketsu)
Ensure uniform procedures and setups throughout the operation to promote interchangeability.

- Sustain (Shitsuke)
Ensure disciplined adherence to rules and procedures to prevent backsliding.

- Safety
A sixth phase, "Safety" promotes safety by stating this value explicitly, or if a comprehensive safety program is undermined when it is relegated to a single item in an efficiency-focused business methodology.