Nukiesoft, the software engineering services, believes, practices and evangelizes the practice of the software engineering principles and best practices. Our adopted process framework, and our conviction on quality based our own software development experience, enables us to deliver the best to our customers. While software engineering has been around for decades, its adoption leading to business success through improved quality and predictability has been, by and large, a mirage. Software is essentially a construction in mind and, a collective one at that, with many stakeholders of varying interests and skills. Applying the engineering principles is more of continuous refinements of an adaptive process rather than adoption of a prescriptive process .Nukiesoft, with its wealth of acquired knowledge and more than a decade of experience, has specialized in transitioning itself and its customers into sound software engineering practices without undue documentation and technology overheads. We are the only IT Consultancy Managament, Desgn and Development, Software as Services (SaaS) and Cloud Application Solutions.


5S is amongst the first and fundamental steps implemented by an enterprise towards the path of implementing Total Quality Management and continuous improvement at the operation level. 5S is a process designed to organize the workplace, keep it clean and maintain effective and standard conditions. It instils the discipline required to enable each individual to achieve and maintain a world-class environment. The use of this tool was started in 1972 by Henry Ford in the United States as the CANDO programme: Cleaning up, Arranging, Neatness, Discipline and Ongoing improvement. The technique was popularized as ‘Japanese 5S’ in 1980 by Hiroyuki Hirano. Many enterprises have practiced the 5S and derived significant benefits from it. In particular, this technique has been widely practiced in Japan. Most Japanese 5S practitioners consider 5S useful not just for improving their physical environment, but also for improving their thinking processes too. In Japan it is also called ‘workplace management’. 5S will be needed if the workplace is messy and unorganized. It will also be needed if employees spend extra time in searching tools, papers, information, etc.

What is the meaning of 5S?

5S is the acronym for five Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke and they represent the five steps for a systematic technique for good housekeeping as indicated in the table below: The general concept of the 5S is that they are intended to eliminate waste. Working in disorder is neither productive, nor safe. 5S is a simple and practical method to instil a quality culture at the work place. It is relatively easy to undertake, and requires minimal additional resources. The first and small investment made in time and effort pays off in a much bigger manner when the results are realized and maintained. Among the main benefits of implementing 5S are:

• the workplace becomes cleaner, safer, well-organized and more pleasant

• floor space utilization is improved

• workflow becomes smoother and more systematic and non-value added activities are reduced;

• time for searching tools, materials and document is minimized;

• machine breakdowns are reduced since clean and well-maintained equipment breaks down less frequently and it also becomes easier to diagnose and repair before breakdowns occur, therefore extending equipment life;

• errors are minimized leading to making defect-free products;

• consumables and material wastage are minimized;

• the morale and satisfaction of employees improves; and

• the productivity of the organization improves together with the quality of products and services.

Why do we practice the 5S?

The meaning, methods of implementing and benefits of each of the 5S are given below :


The emphasis of Seiri is on stratification management and being able to spot the unwanted and unnecessary before they become problematic.


Seiton in essence can be defined as neatness, having things in the right places or set up so that they are readily available for use, eliminating the need to search. Once everything has a right place so that it’s functionally placed for quality and safety, it can then be deemed that the workplace is neat. While Seiri helps you to decide what items are needed, Seiton helps you to decide the way things are to be placed.


Seiso places emphasis on cleaning so that things are clean; in other words carrying out cleaning as a form of inspection i.e. getting rid of waste, and foreign matter. It is important to note that depending on the circumstance, with higher quality, higher precision and finer processing technologies, even the minute details may have the greatest ramifications, hence the importance to carry out cleaning as a form of inspection.


This aspect of the 5S focuses on standardization, making the first three S’s, Seiri, Seiton, and Seiso a constant routine. The emphasis here is on visual management, an important aspect to attain and maintain standardized conditions to enable the individuals always act quickly.


Shitsuke places emphasis on being able to forge a workplace with good habits and discipline. Demonstrating to others what needs to be done and encouraging practice amongst them. This is mainly a management responsibility.

What is management’s role in implementing 5S?

It is important to note that the implementation of 5S concerns and benefits everyone in the organisation. Like any other initiative, management has the important role to facilitate and support the process by:

• Acknowledging the importance of 5S for the organization;

• Allowing employees time for 5S;

• Providing resources and infrastructure for 5S implementation;

• Personal involvement in implementation of 5S;

• Creating tangible and intangible rewards and recognition for improvements; and

• Promoting ongoing 5S efforts

Additional guidelines for implementing 5S

The methods of implementing each of the 5S have been indicated in the tables above. An ITC diagnostic tool is included in Annex I to enable you to assess and score the implementation of your 5S. It would be advisable to start the implementation with one selected area in the organisation and then after getting positive results to extend gradually to other areas. However for effective implementation, it would be important to:

• Sensitize management and all employees concerned about the importance and benefits of 5S and get their commitment;

• Conduct a status audit with photographs ‘as is state’. The diagnostic tool given in the appendix may be used;

• Measure throughput, time in materials handling, floor space, flow distance, rack storage, engineering cycle times, annual physical inventory time, and defect ratios before and after the 5S implementation.

• Develop an implementation plan, with clear responsibilities and deadlines, in consultation with management and all employees concerned;

• Implement the 5 S plan;

• Take photographs after the implementation and assess the difference;

• Share the experience and extend the implementation to other areas;

• Conduct periodic 5S Internal Audits with ratings to monitor progress.

Several companies have introduced annual 5S awards where efforts of work teams are recognized and rewarded.

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