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I would suggest two things to keep in mind:

  1. People are more likely to follow the 5S standards if they were involved in creating them so make sure to include key people. If you’re concerned about resistance, you can always conduct brief interviews with the people using the workspace to understand what they see as issues to fix or, conversely, what are some stakes in the ground of things they don’t want changed and why.
  2. Try using the 5S Assessment Templates to get their views on the work space.

The key is to understand the reasons for the resistance since they are often valid and must be addressed.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.