is the first step towards TQM. Over
the last century, the Japanese have formalised the technique and name it as 5S
Practice. Prof. Sam Ho * has improved and
defined its terms in English/Chinese and developed the world's first 5-S Audit
Checklist which was used for training in Malaysia
under an Asian Development Bank Quality Expert
assignment in 1993-94 at SIRIM. In 1998-2000, a US$600,000 grant
has been given to the author to train up 2,500 5-S Lead Auditors in
Typical Example * (from the 50-points)
retrieval of a document
TQMEX*: 5-S* + L5S* è (ISO
9000 / 22000 +
ISO 14001 +
OHSAS 18001 +
5S-6s*) è APBEST*
* Developed © & Registered ® by the Author
5-S = Structurise,
Systematise, Sanitise, Standardise & Self-discipline [Ho 1994; www.hk5sa.com ]
5-S from HK5SA [Ho 2007; www.hk5sa.com/icit ]
5S-6s = Using
5-S as a tool for 6-Sigma [Ho, 2004; www.hk5sa.com/icit ]
APBEST = Asia-Pacific Business Excellence
Standard Award [Ho, 2005, www.apbest.org ]
The following sections will explain each of the constituents of the 5-S practice in appropriate depth to enable practitioners to get the maximum benefit from its implementation, yet not making it too complicated to understand.
S-1: What is Structurise
S-2: What is Systematise ?
S-3: What is Sanitise ?
S-4: What is Standardise ?
S-5: What is Self-discipline ?
5-S implementation requires commitment from both the top management and everyone in the organisation. It is also important to have a 5-S Champion to lead the whole organisation towards 5-S implementation step-by-step. If you decide to be the 5-S Champion of your organisation, the following steps will help you to achieve success.
Step 1: Get Top Management Commitment and be
You have to sell the idea of the 5-S to the most senior executive of your organisation. Moreover, and like any other quality programme, it is no good to get just his lip-service. He needs to be 100% committed; not just in announcing the start of the 5-S practice in the promoting campaign, but committed to give resources for training and improvements. Then you need to get prepared yourself.
In promoting the 5-S activities, the important thing is to do them one at a time and to do each thoroughly. Even the little things have to be taken seriously if they are to make any meaningful impact. This process can be stratified as follows:
Step 2: 5-S Training
The 5-S activities are all directed at eliminating waste and effecting continuous improvement in the workplace. Right from the beginning there will seem to be lots of 5-S activities to be done. As you go on, you will notice that there are always additional 5-S problems to solve. They are not insurmountable, though, if considered and solved one at a time.
It is essential in the 5-S activities that you train people to be able to devise and implement their own solutions. Progress that is not self-sustaining -- progress that always has to rely upon outside help -- is not real progress. It is important that your people know, for example, how to use the computer to do charts and graphs, even if it is not part of their job description. They need to study maintenance techniques. And oddly enough, the more problems they are capable of solving, the more problems they will spot.
Training should also include section-wide or company-wide meetings where people can announce their results. Not only does this provide incentive, but the exchange of ideas and information is often just what you need to keep everybody fresh.
Step 3: Draw up a Promotional Campaign
Step 4: Keeping Records
It is important to keep records not only of decisions made but also of the problems encountered, actions taken and results achieved. Only if past practice has been recorded people will have a sense of progress and improvement over time. There are a number of tools for keeping records, these are:
Step 5: Evaluation
As with so many other things, it is very easy to get into a routine with 5-S activities -- particularly because they demand constant everyday attention to routine details. At the same time, because the individual tasks appear minor even though they have great cumulative impact, it is easy to think that you can put them off. Everybody is busy, and it is difficult to make alert 5-S activities a part of the daily routine. Workplace evaluations and other means are needed to keep everyone abreast of what is happening and to spot problems before they develop into major complications. In essence, you need to devise ways that will get everybody competing in a friendly but no less intense manner. Your evaluation tools are the key and it is as simple as using the 5-S Audit Worksheet as your evaluation criteria.
Patrols and Cross-evaluations
Two other techniques that you can adopt to promote the 5-S activities are patrols and cross-evaluations. Patrols can go around to the various workshops and offices and point out problems. This is similar to 'managing by walking around', but the patrol members do not even need to be management personnel. They simply need to know what to look for and have the authority to point out problems that need to be worked on. They simply need to know what questions to ask.
Cross-evaluations are a variation on this theme in that they involve having teams working on similar problems offering advice to other teams. One advantage of doing this is the exchange of ideas and mutual learning.
The objective of the evaluation is to ensure that the 5-S implementation will lead to a conducive total quality environment.
* © Prof. Sam HO PhD(Mgt.), FIQA, EQA Assessor, Mob: +852-9128-9204, firstname.lastname@example.org
Creator of the 50-point 5-S Checklist,
Founder Chair of the HK 5-S Association
with over 20,000 members world-wide,
Director of HKSAR Government sponsored
5-S Campaign, certified over 100 companies in HK/China,
Consultant and Trainer for over 100
firms for ISO 9000 & 5-S implementation,
Oshikawa Fellow of the Asian Productivity
Asian Development Bank Quality Expert to the Malaysian Government (93-94),
Chairman of the 1st-14th "International Conference on ISO 9000 and TQM
- ICIT" (96-09),
Professor of Strategy & Quality,
Research Associate, Judge Institute of
Guest Speaker, Said
Professor of Strategic & Quality Management,
International Management Centres,
Visiting Professor in TQM at Uni. of
Distinguished Professor in Business
Founder Chair, Asia-Pacific Business
Excellence Standards (APBEST) Academy,
u Author of over 100
papers & 20 books, including "TQM: An Integrated Approach",
translated into 5 languages