Lean 5S Workplace Organization and Visual Management for Construction Companies

Why Lean 5S is a systematic approach to workplace organization. Lean 5S system improves productivity, competitiveness, quality, safety and environment. It sets the foundation for lean construction, reducing operational waste and creating value for clients.

About Lean 5S and Visual Management

Lean 5S is a system, a philosophy, and a culture. Lean 5S shows the way of organizing and managing the workspace and work flow with the intent to improve efficiency by eliminating waste, improving workflow and reducing process uncertainties. More construction companies are implementing 5S system to enhance productivity, competitiveness, quality, safety and environment. 

Visual management is the key to a successful 5S program. COLOR adds variety to the workplace and makes for quick and easy identification. By applying visual management principles, the office and project site environment will be cleaner, more organized and easier to manage. 

Applying Lean 5S Principles

Every workplace has full of waste and redundancy. Going through the wasteful processes daily, i.e. waiting for delivery of materials, unsure where to store materials when delivered, unclear which floor to send materials to for use, do not know whether materials are inspected and many more problems can be a daily drag and distraction to the project team affecting productivity and project delivery. There are 8 Waste that construction companies should pay attention to and they are shown below.

The heart of lean 5S workplace organization is the systematic identification and elimination of waste. Using lean 5S principles, the organization can define value-added versus non-value-added activities. Implementing a 5S system helps to identify the waste (problems) and take action to solve these problems. 

The Lean 5S principles help to see problems and act on them. The principles are described below in a simple manner for easy understanding. 

Sort (Seiri) – Organization: Eliminate unnecessary items.

Separate what is needed and what is not needed, and keep only those things that are needed in the workplace. Discard unnecessary items.

Set-in-Order (Seiton) – Orderliness: A place for everything and everything in its place.

Neatly place and identify needed work items. Designate a place for everything so that anyone can find it. Always put things back in their designated locations.

Shine (Seiso) – Cleanliness: Eliminating the source of waste and contamination.

Carry out cleaning and inspection. Always maintain a clean workplace and in good condition. 

Standardize (Seiketsu) – Standardized: A system to maintain and monitor the first 3 S’s. 

Adhere to the standards of the first three S’s and encourage everyone to follow them. Make rules and procedures to promote a good work environment until the first three S’s become a habit. Emphasis on visual management, an important aspect to attain and maintain standardized conditions.

Sustain (Shitsuke) – Discipline: Train, educate, and change habits while relentlessly following the previous four steps.

Maintain and practice the first four S’s. Use 5S slogans, posters, visual panels, newsletter and benchmarking to create the culture. This requires commitment from management and employees show positive interest and overcome resistance to change.

Based on the lean 5S principles, develop a Lean 5S System that makes your workplace efficient and free from waste. It starts with evaluating your entire office and project sites. The Lean 5S System should meet your business needs and works for your organization. Once the Lean 5S System is implemented, the commitment and discipline to practice 5S repeatedly is paramount to sustain the system and realise the benefits. 

  • Lower costs 
  • Increased productivity
  • Better quality 
  • Improved safety
  • Higher employee satisfaction

Your organization can realised the following advantages from implementing Lean 5S:

  • the workplace becomes cleaner, safer, well-organized and more pleasant
  • reduces accidents at project sites
  • office space and project site space utilization are improved
  • workflow becomes smoother and more systematic 
  • non-value added activities are reduced
  • time for searching tools, materials and document is minimized
  • machine breakdowns are reduced 
  • extending machinery life
  • errors are minimized leading to better quality work
  • consumables and material wastage are minimized
  • the morale and satisfaction of employees improves
  • the productivity of the office and project improves
  • enhances quality of project 

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.

Attend our Lean 5S training course. Think Lean 5S. Implement a Lean 5S System. Learn to improve your workplace.

Contact us or reply this email for a discussion at 603 4045 8502 or email at sysnovate@yahoo.com