Standardize Stage Helps Companies Maintain 5S Initiative

5S Step 4 – Standardize

Once you have completed the Sort, Set in Order, and Shine stages of the 5S process, it is time to Standardize. This step will help to maintain the work done in the first three by creating fool-proof processes to keep up with the new work environment. Steps 1-3 implement new changes while step 4 helps those changes become part of the every day routine.

This stage has three parts: integrating 5S needs, maintaining a schedule of tasks, and tracking results.

Action items:

  • Create a schedule of tasks and timelines in which they will be completed
  • Include daily, weekly, monthly, and semi-annual tasks
  • Implement schedule with each employee so they aid in the standardization
  • Track implementation of schedule
  • Audit results from 5S steps 1-4

In regards to the schedule, some examples of tasks could be sweeping the floor or returning spaces to 5S cleanliness every day, or ensuring correct filing cabinet procedures and wiping surfaces down weekly.

The list of tasks will change based on each different company but every employee is responsible for completing each task on an individual level for the standardization to work.

The schedule should include every single tasks whether it should be completed daily or semi-annually.

Generally, companies complete bigger projects once a month like a detailed cleaning of the entire production area, as opposed to daily completion of smaller tasks like cleaning a desk surface. Situational aspects like regular maintenance of machines should be evaluated and tailored to each circumstance.

Standardize To Do List:

  • Check that first three S’s were completed correctly
  • Create a space where the standardize lists you’ve created can be displayed
  • Include red tag procedures and holding area rules in addition to just cleaning duties and schedules
  • Give feedback during auditing of standardization

As far as the tracking of the standardization results, this can follow a set schedule as well or could be done every time a space is used. Constant monitoring of whether or not the space is being standardized will ensure the faster employees make this standardization schedule a routine. This will also show how serious the company is about these new processes.

Once implemented, the standardization phase will ensure that 5S initiatives become the new norm within a company.