5S Data - Sustain

Goal and motivation

In the fifth step "Sustain", discipline should be developed. This is the most difficult step because following the rules and standards should become a daily routine. This means constantly fighting against chaos and disorder. The standardized procedure should be internalized by the employees in such a way that it can be applied without thinking about it.



Self-discipline is first and foremost a requirement for each team member. The development of a good work attitude is crucial here. Only when everyone internalizes the standardized procedure and disciplines themselves to follow the rules improvements can occur. Supervisors have a special role model function here.

This process is additionally supported by the central and easily accessible filing of the written standard operating procedure. It should also be an essential part of the introductory information for new employees. It is also recommended that the standard operating procedure be presented or recalled at regular intervals (e.g., every six months or annually) in internal group workshops. The following topics can be addressed:

  • File storage (folder system and naming convention)
  • Server setup
  • Backup strategy
  • Versioning tools (e.g. GIT)
  • Literature management programs
  • Internal databases
  • Handling of personal data
  • Communication tools

Workshops not only provide an opportunity to present the approach but also to gather feedback from team members. Existing structures are thus regularly checked for their functionality and can be adapted as needed and in a collaborative manner.

Even if it takes some time and checks until the new work processes and standards have manifested themselves in a team, the standardization of work processes is worthwhile. Documents are found more easily (e.g., in collaborative work or substitutions) and valuable data volume is gained through space savings (e.g., continuous cleanup and deletion). In the end, not only productivity increases but also employee satisfaction.


1) Sort    ►    2) Set in order    ►    3) Shine    ►    4) Standardize    ►    5) Sustain