5S Tips & Tricks
Select a pilot zone

Last update: April 16, 2010
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Pilot zone

Pilot zone's purpose is to give to the group involved in the 5S project an application and practicing area, to demonstrate feasibility and quick gains, before extending to other areas.

The pilot zone is also a showcase for those not yet involved in the project, and for management, caring about Return On Investments.

Choosing a pilot zone

Every project stakeholder wants to get proofs of 5S deployment effectiveness in terms of changes, quick results, improvements. To deliver quickly these proofs, choose the poorest looking, dirtiest, messiest area. The worst the initial situation the most visible the smallest improvement.

In every improvement project, the first gains are important and easy to get.

The green area in the graphic shows the  interesting gain/investment rate A/a brought by the important impact of any improvement action.

As time goes by and more improvements are done the gain/investment or B/b rate will get closer to 1 as shown in orange.

Finally, seeking the last improvements to be done will be of high cost, until the gain/investment rate C/c shown in red is clearly disastrous.
In this case, it's better to let it be.



Make sure to have a pilot zone for practising during training sessions.


In every improvement project, the first gains are important and easy to get.


The author, Chris HOHMANN, is managing partner.

He deals with industrial and logistics performance.

Contact the author

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