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This fun, rhyming story about 5S can help you and your team remember the 5Ss: Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain. You can learn more about 5S in our Green Belt Training or Lean Training.

The manager was full of angst and dismay,
As customers whined and complained all day.
He told his staff to work harder and smarter,
But that turned out to be a non-starter.

He created and dictated changes anew,
But customer complaints just grew and grew.
He turned to Dilbert for a brand new scheme
And the Pointy Haired boss said “fire the team.”

So he sacked the staff with the most boo boos,
Only to find more gripes in the queue.
The unit was now in total distress
And his new boss came round to assess the mess.

“Show me the process,” she did declare.
The manager only returned a blank stare.
“You mean that Lean stuff?” he said aghast.
“Yes, I do and make it fast.
Fix the process to end this stress.
I suggest you start by reviewing 5S.”

The manager searched through his desk debris
And found notes taken from a class in oh three.
As the training required, he gathered the team,
And teaching 5S was the biggest theme.

As the session ended he asked for their take.
“Common sense, they said. “Why did we wait?”
The unneeded was sorted and laid to waste
And the rest set in order with incredible haste.

They cleaned and swept to put on a shine,
Then started an effort to standardize.
The process steps were placed in a map
And filed where access was simply a snap.

Last, they had to sustain this new tack,
So they set up methods to prevent sliding back.
Customer complaints have declined a great deal
And employees work with much more zeal.

The manager finally announced it was time
For all involved to stop talking in rhyme.
The moral here is really quite clear
Fix the process to hear customers cheer.

Do you want to learn more about 5S? Check out our Green Belt or Lean courses.

Carol Knight-Wallace

For more than 25 years, Carol Knight-Wallace has been helping organizations in the public and private sectors achieve excellence through Lean Six Sigma application, project management, strategic planning, and facilitation. Her experience includes Fortune 100 financial services companies, healthcare, manufacturing, government, non-profit, and higher education.