What is the 9 "S" methodology?

What Does 9 S methodology Mean

We explain what the 9 S methodology is in labor management, its origin, principles and benefits. Also, how it is implemented.

The methodology of the 9 S prioritizes order, commitment and eliminating the unnecessary.

What is the 9 "S" methodology?

The 9 S methodology is a work management technique that aims to achieve higher productivity with a better work environment . It is a philosophy based on organized and orderly work that aims to achieve a level of maximum quality and its impact is observed in the long term.

It originated in Japan with the Toyota brand, which set the goal of permanently achieving a new work culture. To accomplish this task it requires the commitment of the leadership of the organization .

It is based on two basic rules: “start with yourself” and “lead by example” . Maintaining the new work culture is based on discipline and perseverance.

It can help you: Human resources

Origin of the 9 S methodology

In 1960 a Japanese methodology emerged called the "5 S philosophy" and consisted of five principles called: seiri , seiton , seiso , seiketsu and shitsuke . In its translation into Spanish they mean: “separate the unnecessary”, “place what is necessary”, “suppress dirt”, “signal anomalies” and “continue to improve”.

The translation of the names varies somewhat from language to language, but the purposes of each principle are maintained and expressed in much the same way as their original Japanese version.

Shortly after its publication, the methodology was updated to incorporate four more principles with the aim of stimulating the individual to adopt good habits as a habit (that is, to adopt the philosophy of the previous five S's).

The new principles were called: shikari , shitsukoku , sixhoo and seido which, in their Spanish translation, mean: “follow a line of action”, “be persevering”, “know how to coordinate” and “standardize the rules ”.

During the sixties, Eastern philosophy applied to work had a great impact on Western companies because it was a very low- cost action , it allowed optimizing resources and saving budgets , reducing the number of accidents at work and improving the quality of productivity.

The nine principles were incorporated into the system of quality management worldwide, called " ISO 9001" , prepared in 1947 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO acronym: International Standardization Organization ), an independent body, not government, which brings together companies and organizations from around the world.

In its origins, the ISO Standard was structured in four large stages that allowed it to be implemented in any type of business and industrial activity, since it was not identified with a particular product or service . By incorporating the Japanese principles, the ISO Standard gained greater recognition and became more compatible with other standards implemented in other countries.

Principles of the 9 S methodology

The methodology promotes nine principles so that they are applied constantly and can become a form of daily work. The principles are:

  • Seiri (separate the unnecessary). It consists of classifying the objects that are not necessary or that are not used frequently and separating them to decide whether they will be stored, sold, recycled , given away or thrown away.
  • Seiton (place what is necessary). It consists of ordering the workspace efficiently to identify the classes of objects, designate them a definitive place and save space in order to obtain what is needed in the shortest possible time .
  • Seiso (remove dirt). It consists of improving cleaning from a bigger idea than just maintaining neatness. Each individual is responsible for the cleaning of their workspace, because when cleaning abnormal situations are found and supplies are kept in good condition.
  • Seiketsu (signal anomalies). It consists of standardizing or maintaining the first three S, understanding that they must be applied together, in order to signal and repeat the procedures to make them a custom. This allows you to detect or reduce potential problems .
  • Shitsuke (keep improving). It consists in being disciplined, that is, in giving continuity and follow-up to the change of habit according to 9 S. The person who adheres to order and control of their actions is prudent and evidences that they are capable of generating quality work and that they strive to improve.
  • Shikari (constancy). It consists of the will to remain firm in a line of action and with a positive mind towards the development of an activity. For example, by maintaining good habits in daily practice, through permanent planning and control of tasks, cleaning, order or constant punctuality in your life.
  • Shitsukoku (engagement). It consists in complying with the agreement, in making every effort to fulfill it. It is an attitude that is born from conviction and manifests itself in enthusiasm day by day. To be possible, commitment must manifest itself at all levels of the organization.
  • Seishoo ( coordination ). It consists of a way of working together, where all individuals work at the same pace and towards the same objectives. This way of working is achieved with time and dedication, maintaining good communication between all employees.
  • Seido (standardization). It consists of adopting as custom the changes that are considered beneficial for the company or those activities that contribute to maintaining an optimal work environment, through the implementation of rules , regulations or procedures.

Implementation of the 9 S methodology

The 9 S methodology requires the participation of management and all employees.

The implementation of the 9 S methodology requires certain factors to achieve success:

  • Management commitment. It implies that the organization's board of directors participate actively, applying the principles and setting an example so that its people can also get involved.
  • Include the 9 S as part of the induction. It involves training employees, both old and new, to know and understand the goals of the organization's culture.
  • Participation of all staff. It involves carrying out teamwork , where everyone is identified and actively participates, applying the principles of 9 S in daily tasks.
  • Repeat the cycle constantly. Once the expected level of quality in work management has been reached, it is not enough to maintain it, but rather it must be optimized and focused on continuous improvement.

Benefits of the 9 S methodology

Implementing the 9 S principles provides two types of benefits:

  • Tangible. Represents noticeable changes at a glance. For example, more free space is perceived in workshops or offices by eliminating unnecessary objects, environments and equipment are cleaner and the search time for tools and materials is reduced by arranging them in an orderly way in their corresponding place.
  • Intangibles. Represents changes that are not seen with the naked eye, but are perceived and impact daily work. For example, it improves the self - esteem of employees, increases the predisposition for teamwork and reduces accidents in each job.
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