5 S and Bristol Fashion

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sailing ships

Photo credit: http://www.freeimages.com/Trond Melsom

5S is a technique from Lean Six Sigma and stands for these Japanese words:  Seiri (tidiness), Seiton (orderliness), Seiso (cleanliness), Seiketsu (standardization), and Shitsuke (discipline).   In English we call these Sort, Set, Shine, Standardise, Sustain.

But, as the saying goes, there’s nothing new under the sun.   The same approach to maintaining and keeping everything in order applied to traditional sailing vessels.  Ropes (or sheets to use the nautical term) must be paid out or pulled in quickly to adjust, raise or drop sails so obviously must be free of tangles or any obstructions.  All equipment must be serviceable and immediately at hand.  ‘Shipshape and Bristol Fashion’ is a term that originated from the UK port of Bristol when it was a world leader in ship building and repair:  It basically means everything is clean, in good order and correctly stowed.  That’s the same good workshop practice that any craftsman has used ever since creating product to sell to others.  That’s also the practice that had to be in place when a WW2 Wellington Bomber was build in a weekend  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlVLZ230iFs

Applying 5S will prevent business process tangles.  There’s more about business process tangles at businessprocesstangles.com