Department of Homeland Security

5S (methodology)

I believe that all government agencies can become more efficient by learning from the private sector. Before joining the TSA I worked in quality control for the semiconductor industry. At the company I worked we always found ourselves coming up short of our sister plant in Japan. The Japanese plants had better product yields, worker productivity, and even better safety records.

After a lot of research we learned they were using 5S (methodology). 5S is the name of a workplace organization methodology that uses a list of five Japanese words which are seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. If you translate these word to English you get Sorting (Seiri), Straightening or setting in order / stabilize (Seiton), Sweeping or shining or cleanliness / systematic cleaning (Seiso), Standardizing (Seiketsu), and Sustaining the discipline or self-discipline (Shitsuke).

 

Here is a description of each phase of 5S:

 

Sorting (Seiri)

Eliminate all unnecessary tools, parts, and instructions. Go through all tools, materials, and so forth in the plant and work area. Keep only essential items and eliminate what is not required, prioritizing things as per requirements and keeping them in easily-accessible places.

 

Straightening or setting in order / stabilize (Seiton)

There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place.

 

Sweeping or shining or cleanliness / systematic cleaning (Seiso)

Clean the workspace and all equipment, and keep it clean, tidy and organized.

 

Standardizing (Seiketsu)

Work practices should be consistent and standardized. All work stations for a particular job should be identical.

 

Sustaining the discipline or self-discipline (Shitsuke)

Maintain and review standards. Once the previous 4 S's have been established, they become the new way to operate.

 

I believe if we implemented 5S all government agencies would save money and do a better job of serving and protecting the citizens of the United States of America.

 

Leslie Gidden

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Idea No. 14243