Implementing Lean 5S for Construction Projects – Keep it Simple and Practical

Purpose of Lean 5S

The general concept of the Lean 5S is that they are intended to eliminate waste. Working in disorder is neither productive, nor safe. Lean 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.

How to practice Lean 5S?

Understanding and applying the Lean 5S principles are essential.

Seiri is about stratification management and being able to spot the unwanted and unnecessary before they become problematic. This means sorting between ‘wanted’ and ‘unwanted’ items at the workplace and removal of unwanted items.

Seiton is 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 productivity, 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. Arranging items in such a manner that they are easy to use. Labelling them so that they are easy to find and put back. This means a place for everything (necessary) and everything in its place. No more homeless items.

Seiso places emphasis on cleaning so that the workplace and things are clean. It is important to note that carrying out cleaning as a form of inspection and maintenance reduces downtime of machinery and improves productivity and safety. Regular housekeeping removes waste from the work area.

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. This call for systematizing the above 3S practices. This means ensuring that whatever cleanliness and orderliness is achieved should be maintained.

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.

Sustain also means ‘Discipline’. It denotes your commitment to maintain orderliness and to practice first 3S as a way of life. This also requires that your employees show positive interest and overcome resistance to change.

Keep Lean 5S Simple

It is advisable to start the implementation with one or more selected areas in your project and then after getting positive results to extend gradually expand to other areas.

For effective implementation of Lean 5S, it is important:

  • Create awareness on the importance and benefits of Lean 5S to management, employees and workers concerned and get their commitment and support
  • Develop a Lean 5S Implementation Plan with clear roadmap, responsibilities and deadlines, in consultation with management, employees and workers concerned
  • Conduct a status audit with photographs ‘as is state’
  • Implement the Lean 5S Implementation 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
  • Measure output, time in materials handling, floor space, flow distance, rack storage, engineering cycle times, annual physical inventory time, and defect ratios before and after the Lean 5S implementation
  • Introduced annual 5S awards where efforts of employees and workers are recognized and rewarded.

How Sysnovate can help your Organization?

Sysnovate offers guided toolkit called Lean 5S Program for companies seeking to implement Lean 5S for their organization. The program includes preparation of lean 5S system documentation, training, coaching, guidance and audits to maintain the Lean 5S System successfully.

Sysnovate is a management and lean-agile consulting firm providing consultancy and training services for organizations in the property development, construction, engineering, facilities management and related sectors. Sysnovate places emphasis on 3 core pillars: people, process and technology. Its services are focused on integrated quality, environmental, safety and health (QESH) management, ISO management systems, QLASSIC quality assessment system, process and productivity enhancement, lean management and continual improvement.

Training Course from Sysnovate

Two Days Lean-Agile Course, “Lean 5S in Construction – Improving Productivity and Safety”


Contact us or reply this email to attend our Lean 5S training.

Improve your workplace organization. Think Lean 5S. Implemented a Lean 5S System.

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