Continuous Improvement blogWorkplace Organisation - Shine makes things Fine

In my last blog in the series we covered, the second S, Set in order. In this post, I want to cover the third Shine, with you.

As part of our 5S implementation, we wanted to ensure that our workplace is always clean and looking like it is ready for action, all of the time.Wheel with names of 5S stages

During our earlier “Go and See” we identified points in the office where we had chronic contamination issues due to the way we were working. We wanted to work smarter, and the third S of shine helped us to achieve this. The less clutter you have the easier it is to maintain order. In a team that uses a lot of post it notes, sticky tak, brown paper and masking tape, to map business processes, it is quite easy to create a mess of stained blue tacked walls with strips of wallpaper missing where we have left masking tape on too long. When we walked round our training rooms and project rooms this was by far the biggest issue that we identified in terms of cleanliness. We had previously worked out a cleaning rota for our kitchen area, which in general was working well.

A before and after picture of an office after redecorationOur biggest issue was scruffy walls. We all agreed they were in need of a lick of paint, but there was no point in painting them if we were just going to repeat the crimes of the past. The team came up with a couple of ideas. The first was to create re-useable laminated charts that items can be stuck to, without damaging the walls, and the second was to put up permanent pin boards in the areas where we needed to stick things up that could be easily cleaned when the items were removed.


One of the biggest learnings from applying the Shine phase to our office area is that if it doesn’t get dirty then you don’t need to clean it. Containment is the key. What are the chronic parts of your office area? Go and see and then come up with a plan to apply Shine so that your area is always up to standard. In my next post I will be covering how we went about applying Standardise to our office, which happens to be the fourth S. Standardise will make you wise, so read on for a big surprise!  Maybe I’ve over sold that a bit…