Having its origins in Lean ‘5S’ is a management tool consisting of five tenets: Sort, Store, Shine, Standardize and Sustain; and can be used by both industry and government.


This article is about applying the ‘5S’ methodology to government. As an Australian Air Force member you might find it useful to understand how concepts from industry, such as ‘5S’, can be used by government organisations such as the ADF. ‘5S’ is based on the following tenets: Sort, Store, Shine, Standardise, Sustain. Sort is deciding what to keep or discard. Store is securing items in a secure but accessible location. Shine refers to what needs to be cleaned and organised. Standardise means ‘5S’ is applied consistently. Sustain relates to maintaining the overall ‘5S’ system. However, like any management technique or system, applying it to your context is as important as critically reviewing its value. Look up articles that are critical of ‘5S’ to gain a balanced view. In this case, ‘5S’ generally receives a good review, being described as more of a management tool than a management philosophy.