Teams Should Conduct Their Own 5S Audits: Part Two

Rick Bohan

In our last post, we talked a bit about 5S audits and argued that teams of operators should self-audit their own areas rather than having “external” audits conducted.  In this post, we’ll go over the process for teaching teams how to audit themselves.  I’ve also provided a download of the form I use for all this.

First, teach the team to use the self review form by having them actually use it.  I’ve done this by handing the forms I use out, spending no more than five minutes describing it, then send the team members off to use it.  The best way to learn the audit process is to actually do an audit. The idea is to have the whole team do the audit, each with his or her own form to record scores and comments.  Members can work together but it works better if everyone has a form.

I tell the team members that they MUST add comments to each item.  I want them to think about what they see that prompts the score they give for each item.  The best way to accomplish this is to have them write notes about what they see (or don’t see).

While the team members are doing their audit, I conduct one  of the team’s area as well.  Now this might seem to diminish the “self” part of the self audit but it’s part of the training process.  It’s helpful to “calibrate” the audit scores with the team.  By that I mean that it’s helpful to go over the scores and discuss them so that everyone has the same picture in mind when they give a low or a high score.

Finally, the team and I  gather together to discuss the scores for each of the items.  We don’t try to agree or come to consensus on a score nor do I present my score as the “right one”.  We just talk about the thinking behind the scores, especially where they differ.  The idea is to get to know the form and to get to know how team members see things. (My own experience has been the team members tend to grade themselves too harshly.  In the end, it’s no more helpful for a team to underscore itself than to overscore.  Not every work area has to be “food service” clean, after all.)

You’ll find it’s helpful to go through this process another time or two with each team.  Naturally, after the training, you’ll want to look over self reviews as they are conducted to see what sorts of comments the team documents and that their scoring is consistent over time.

5S Self Review Form


Leave a Reply