The 5S methodology, how to use it in Catenda Hub, discover the methodology

The 5S and Catenda Hub


Work environments are bound to change with digitalization. The latter challenges our old ways of working. The process will lead to increase skills’ quality and productivity, respect, and collaboration within the team. Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync), designed for teamwork, coordinates the coexistence in this digital environment so diverse in specialty, language, and cultures.

5S vs. Catenda Hub

The 5s principle comes from Japan and includes five words: Seiri, Seiso, Seiton, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke, translated by Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. They are the five precepts to be internalized and applied by each individual in their work environment. The mission is to optimize personal performance, improve quality, and, consequently, the final result.

When fully delocalized collaborative work is required between multiple individuals, multiple languages, and various ways of managing work, it is intuitive that common standards of coexistence will have to be accepted. Building Information Modeling (BIM) work processes inherit their form of coexistence from the fundamentals of lean. However, they are not always known by all team members. This can be a significant barrier when we have been used to working individually, but everything can be changed.

In this article, we will show how it is possible to merge lean principles using Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync). The Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) interface is the platform where we have a viewer for consulting models (templates), a communication channel (incidents), and a Common data Environment (CDE) (documentation). Obviously, misuse of its functionalities could lead the project into chaos, but the tools to get you to that ideal workstation are within your reach. How can you achieve it? By using the 5S.

Scheme 5S by Catenda, discover what are seiri, seiso, seiton, seiketsu, shitsuke

1st S: Seiri – Sort

Identify, classify, separate, and eliminate unnecessary documents and materials from the workplace, keeping what is essential for daily activity. Collecting all kinds of information is not very efficient. The greater the volume, the more time project participants waste searching for what they need. The greater the possibility of making mistakes if they don’t find the latest version, and the more stress and discouragement it generates.

When working in Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync), it is essential to make useful and accurate information available to all team members to make decisions in their area of responsibility. Unverified information cannot be shared as it could lead to quality errors, time loss, etc.
For example, the Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) model functionality gives you full traceability of work history. In principle, no model is dispensed with. All project participants know of a situation that requires them to go back to previous versions because the latest developments have not brought the expected improvement. The criteria of value and for how long it should be kept are established from the beginning and communicated to all participants. If necessary, the person responsible for eliminating the information assigned to the project is always the project administrator, so there is no possibility of erroneous losses.

The library functionality, where the document folder is stored, is particularly sensitive. Any of the life phases of a project adds to the file amounts of information that can become unwieldy. Being lean requires that all this documentation is valid and therefore valuable. Through the assignment of permissions to participants, accessibility to this information bank is regulated. Not everyone can share everything. Everyone has their own possibilities.


2nd S: Seiso – Set in order

Once participants have selected everything that adds value to the development of their project on the platform, they must ensure that the information generated is located in the place provided for that purpose. The agility to find what they need to consult or download is multiplied. In addition, if it is not in the right place, they could think that someone has removed it without warning and, consequently, has generated a problem.

Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) is structured according to each of its functionalities, but it is the user who decides how to organize the content of each of them. However, the system itself offers numerous possibilities for tidying up. Let’s take the example of the issues; the issue management can be structured according to different panels that can deal with various aspects of the project. In addition, the participants are involved in one or the other according to their skills, thus limiting the search time.


3rd S: Seiton – Shine

Maintaining a clean work environment also requires that everything is in perfect working order. What is the point of having something that takes up space and does not add value to our activity? Confusion?? Time wasted waiting for files to be opened? Multi-user work tends to produce information overload because everyone saves things “just in case,” and they are useless and get in the way of the rest of the participants.

In the case of our Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) platform, the system itself allows the identification of each revision of any document. They are all numbered, and the absence of one can trigger alerts about a possible error.


4th S: Seiketsu – Standardize

Besides avoiding the degradation of what has been achieved in the first three S’s, standardization represents the best way to perform safe and orderly work. It allows users to distinguish a typical situation from a non-normal case and, ultimately, ensures quality performance. Remember that “non-qualities” are subject to elimination from our production processes.

If we go back to the Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) case, the open CDE sets its standards in its work structure. It is then the BIM Manager who sets the parameters of use. It will therefore depend on his level of demand that all work management maintains the established minimums. Publication of standards, instructions, risks, and prohibitions are essential. All the participants involved in the project must be aware of the terms of reference and are responsible for their compliance.


5th S: Shitsuke – Sustain

Now that we have defined the work standards, it is time to maintain them by creating a helpful habit. Practice improving. This is the phase in which the participant obtains autonomy and can give the maximum of themselves. Moreover, they can detect deviations and trace them back to those in charge so that they, in turn, always lead the project to continuous improvement.


Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) makes it easy for you to collect data to check compliance with the standards. By tracking issues, participants can look at a multitude of parameters such as response times, the workload of each team member, dominant types of incidents, compliance with milestones … Really gold, if we have in mind to keep improving. Connecting Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) with integrations such as Power BI takes this much further, allowing to perform advanced analyses. Always growing. Always better.

Azucena García García, Architect, Technical Consultant for Catenda, Spain and South America – DAAG.