Business Center

6S Method

Lean process improvement is CDOT’s approach to engage everyone, every day, to improve every process and product, to benefit every customer. A crucial part of the Lean approach is “6S”, a method and set of tools to help us organize workspaces to be effective, efficient and safe.

6S method

The 6S method is a 6-step process:

  1. Sort - Distinguish between necessary and unnecessary material, documents, equipment, data, and information. For items that are not necessary, put together an orderly plan to take them out of the workplace.
  2. Set in order - “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
  3. Shine (systematic cleaning) - Maintain a clean and functional workplace on a daily basis.
  4. Standardize - Create clear and simple visual cues that indicate whether or not “sort” and “set-in-order” are being maintained.
  5. Sustain - Effective, ongoing application of knowledge regarding keeping an effective workplace.
  6. Safety – A vital foundation for all of the other steps! We develop and maintain workplaces that are safe for ourselves, our customers and anyone else who may be affected by our workplace.

The other tabs in this Excel Workbook provide you with the tools to evaluate a workspace (first 2 tabs) and then implement a plan to make that space more effective, efficient and safe. Much of the content in this document comes from the CDOT Office of Transportation Safety and the Continuous Improvement Program within the state government of Minnesota. Thank you to both organizations!


6S Evaluation and Sustainment

Category
5 Points
Best-in-Class
4 Points
Good
3 Points
Fair
2 Points
Marginal
1 Point
Poor
0 Point
Unacceptable
Sort
Every item in the area is needed.
No needed items missing.
Minimal clutter, the small number of unneeded items.
Some clutter.
Some items stored on top of cabinets. Some needed items are not present
Clutter and unnecessary items on desks, shelves, and/ or cabinets
Generally cluttered. Many unnecessary items on desks, shelves, cabinets, and/or floor.
The station is cluttered/unsafe. The abundance of unnecessary items, including furniture and equipment.
Set in order
Area very well organized.Excellent visual controls are in place.Designated locations for items.Aisles straight, clear and well marked.
Area well organized. Most items in the designated location. Visual controls in place. Aisles neat and clear.
Area well organized with the exception of a few problems. Most items have designated location, and most are stored properly. All aisles are marked, but some equipment is not. Many visual controls are in place.
Area moderately organized. Many key items have no designated location, some items properly stored. Equip and aisles are not clearly marked. Some visual controls in place, many more could be added.
Inadequate organization. Many key items have no designated location. Shelves & drawers poorly labeled. Aisle or equip markings are not clear or straight. Few visual controls or instruction are present.  Safety equipment not designated.
Poor organization. Little indication of designated locations. Items improperly stored on floor. Safety hazards. No visual controls, signs, or labels.
Shine
Everything in the area is in great condition and operates perfectly. No dust or dirt, clean floor.
Everything in the area is clean & functional. Floors clean. Recycle bins used and emptied daily.
Most items in area are clean & functional. Some shared equipment doesn't work. Floors are moderately clean.
There is some clutter. Some items are not clean (floors, waste containers).
The area needs to be picked up. Many items need to be cleaned (floors, waste containers).
The area is dirty. Possible health and safety hazards exist.
Standardize
6S checklists for all personal/shared areas are available and followed. Opportunities for improvement noted- all resolved. Metrics & charts in the area are current.
6S checklists for most personal/shared areas are available and followed. Opportunities for improvement noted- most resolved. Metrics & charts in the area are current.
6S checklists for some personal/shared areas are available and followed. Opportunities for improvement noted- some resolved. Metrics & charts in the area are current.
No 6S checklists for personal/shared areas or not followed. Assessment is done weekly, but no opportunities for improvement noted.  Metrics/charts are not current.
Very few 6S checklists exist for the area. 6S assessment is not done the week prior. Unclear if actions are taken to resolve the problems. Metrics/charts are not current.
No 6S checklists exist. 6S  assessment not done within the previous week. No evidence of follow-up actions to problems. Metrics/charts are not current.
Sustain
Clearly documented and followed system to maintain 6S. World class performance sustained for at least 6 months.
System in place and the strong interest in maintaining 6S. Good performance sustained for at least 3 mo
System in the area and moderate interest in maintaining 6S. Minimum performance sustained for at least 1 month.
System in the area, little interest maintaining 6S. Minimum performance sustained for less than 1 month.
No system in the area, little interest maintaining 6S. Very little stability in new 6S performance.
No system or commitment within organization to sustain 6S. 
Safety
All safety equipment (fire extinguishers, emergency exit signs, AED’s, first-aid kits, smoke detection/fire suppression, etc.) has been inspected and is up to date and in good working order. All employees have received evacuation training within the last 12 months. All exit doors/corridors are clear and unobstructed. Electrical outlets are not overloaded and extension cords do not pose any tripping hazards. The facility exterior is well maintained (snow removal, lighting, sidewalks, parking lots are well marked, etc.). No improvements or corrections are needed.
Most (>85%) of the safety equipment (fire extinguishers, emergency exit lights, AED’s, first-aid kits, smoke detection/fire suppression, etc.) has been inspected and is up to date and in good working order. Most employees (>85) have received evacuation training within the last 12 months. Most exit doors/corridors are clear and unobstructed. Most but not all electrical outlets are in good working order and extension cords do not pose tripping hazards. The facility exterior is fairly well-maintained (snow removal, lighting, sidewalks, parking lots are well marked, etc.) but there may be a need for (1-2) minor improvements.
Some (>60%) of the safety equipment (fire extinguishers, emergency exit lights, AED’s, first-aid kits, smoke detection/fire suppression, etc.) has been inspected and is up to date and in good working order. Some (75%) employees have received evacuation training within the last 12 months. Some but not all corridors are clear and unobstructed. Some but not all electrical outlets are in good working order and/or some extension cords were found to pose tripping hazards. The facility exterior is in fair condition (snow removal, lighting, sidewalks, parking lots are well marked, etc.) although there are some corrections that need to be made (3-5) findings.
Less than half (50%) of the safety equipment (fire extinguishers, emergency exit lights, AED’s, first-aid kits, smoke detection/fire suppression, etc.) has been inspected and is up to date and in good working order. Less than 50% of the employees have received evacuation training within the last 12 months. Several electrical outlets (5-7) are overloaded and extension cords were found to pose tripping hazards. Facility exterior is in less than fair condition (snow removal, lighting, sidewalks, parking lots not well marked, etc.). There are several corrections that need to be made (6-10) findings.
Less than 30% of the safety equipment (fire extinguishers, emergency exit lights, AED’s, first-aid kits, smoke detection/fire suppression, etc.) has been inspected and is up to date and in good working order. Less than 30% of the employees have received evacuation training within the last 12 months. Several electrical outlets (8+) are overloaded and/or extension cords were found to pose significant tripping hazards. Facility exterior is in less than fair condition (snow removal, lighting, sidewalks, parking lots are not well marked, etc.) Several corrections need to be made (10+) findings.
Most of the Safety equipment (>80%) is missing or has not been inspected in accordance with required inspection dates and is not in good working order (fire extinguishers, emergency exit lights, AED’s, first-aid kits, smoke detection/fire suppression, etc.) Most, if not all employees have not received emergency evacuation training within the last 12 months. Several corridors and exits are blocked and/or exits lights are not functioning. Facility exterior is in poor condition (snow removal, damages or blocked sidewalks, smoking areas, lighting, etc).

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