Created by Tom Curtis 2011Blog: www.onimproving.blogspot.comPresentations: on www.slideshare.net/onimproving Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter: @onimproving
IntroductionStandard work is easier to talk about than to do right. This does not mean it is not important. This slide set addresses ﬁve reasons that standard work is important. Doing standard work without a clear understanding of why we are doing creates waste and frustration.Recognizing these reasons can help us ensurethat our efforts are pointed in the right direction.
5 purposes of Standard Work • Clariﬁes the process • Documents the current best way • Ensures operating consistency • Expedites employee training • Provides the baseline for improvement
Clarifies the processStandard work can help us clarify what our process is and should be. You may be saying "we know what our process is". Lets think about if I were toask all of the employees involved, would they deﬁne the process the same way, step for step and actionfor action? We do know what our process is or howwe think it should be, the problem is this is usually at a strategic level rather that a tactical level. For standard work to be used at the worker level we need to develop with them clarity of process.
Documents best way Standard work documents the current best known way to do our process. This requires consensus from those doing the work if it is to be sustainable. This may require discussion and upfront work. It is a must. Why? Without agreement we do not have "the" best known way. We have "a" best known way. There is an important difference. With "a" rather than "the" we do not have a standard, wehave a suggestion. We must have a standard, thereis no other option, so we need to ﬁnd “the” best way.
Ensures consistency Standard work helps us ensure operational consistency. How? We have one way to do our process. We have a standard that we can follow and audit to. We can use the document as weperform the process and we can audit ourselves and others to identify gaps and opportunities to improve the standard. As described in the prior essays, clarity and consensus prepare us to ensure consistent use and accuracy to standard work.
Expedites Training With a clear current consensus and consistency in our standard work, we have paid the price for a document that can greatly aid our training of both current and new employees. With good livingstandard work we have the training content we need well deﬁned. There are no tricks of the trade or hidden secrets for success, there is simply a process to learn, study, practice, and follow. This facilitates self study and practice, frequent review, and hands on practice. If everyone is in sync itallows us to work together to maintain and improve.
Provides the Baseline If we do not know our starting point how can wemeasure improvement? If we do not have standard work from which to begin, we are on shifting sand. There may be multiple ways a process is being done. There may be hidden steps. A normal state may not exist. If we can document and understand the current state, we can ensure we that we know what we trying to improve. This helps us focus on root cause rather than symptoms. It is tempting todive into improvement without stabilization, if we do, we do so without control and with risk.