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5S in the IT environment - tips for selection on computer hardware

Learn practical tips for 5S in an IT environment. Learn how to perform selection on computer hardware.

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5S in the IT environment

It is not obvious to many employees that 5S also applies in the IT environment. Administrative employees often associate 5S with the physical organization of the workplace. People are performing primary work tasks on a computer. This is why a computer, as well as other electronic devices, should be under 5S principles. The general topic of 5S is covered in a separate article.

Selection in the IT environment according to 5S principles

The implementation of 5S in the IT environment should begin, according to the rules, with the first step of the 5S method, namely, selection. You should first of all sort through:

  • files and folders, including data stored on the desktop and server.
  • e-mail and possibly mail on the server if mail is archived there.

When starting to select files on your computer, you should take into account the number of users who work on the same files. In case there is only one person working on one file, then the matter is simpler. The person responsible for the documents should proceed to review the files and folders themselves and remove things that are:

  • unnecessary or out-of-date,
  • duplicated (already existing in another location),
  • that are previous versions of current files,
  • not used for a certain period of time (e.g. 1 year).

“Trash” should be emptied regularly by the owner of an electronic equipment. Accumulating too many files on the disk will affect the speed of the computer equipment.

Managing shared files

  1. In situations where multiple people are working together on network drives, it is best to perform the selection together. The purpose of selection is to determine if a particular file is needed. If working together on the selection process is not possible, then certain rules should be followed.
  2. Firstly, within a certain period of time, each user should go through the established drive and delete all unnecessary files that they own. These files cannot be used by other users.
  3. Secondly, files that may be used by others (but you are not sure) should be moved to the “red zone” folder. The next step will be for the other employees to decide the final destination of these files.
  4. Finally, files that have been assigned to the “needed and used” group should be moved to the new folder structure, if one has been prepared.

Arranging files and folders on a server

If the number of unnecessary files is very large, and the server and folders are a mess – then a good solution is to prepare a new files folder structure. You can move only the things that are necessary and needed for work. It’s worth remembering that – unlike in traditional areas – you can always make copies of your network resources (before you start) when you perform electronic document selections. If necessary, you can retrieve deleted files. After all, you should always keep in mind that some files may be linked to others. Deleting, renaming or “placing” them on a disk may cause other files or formulas not to work.

Maintaining an organized e-mail inbox

When you begin the selection process in your email inbox, you should delete:

  • spam and “junk” messages,
  • items already deleted automatically,
  • old mail (e.g. from 3 years ago),
  • mails with large attachment sizes (e.g. over 10 MB). It is worth remembering to save the necessary attachments in appropriate places on the server before deleting them.


When organizing your email inbox, it is a good idea to select messages using folders. By following the above tips, the first step of the 5S method will be completed. These tips will save employees time searching for needed files, documents or business arrangements. Making selections on your computer, server and mailbox will also affect the speed of your hardware. An additional benefit of implementing 5S in the IT environment will be the elimination of the problem associated with hardware or software crashes.

The 5S in an IT environment should be familiar to everyone who uses computer equipment as their main tool of work.

Learn tips for implementing the next four steps of the 5S method in an IT environment by watching the 5S Method course.

Link to the product:

The 5S Method

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