Lately I read some posts / articles about a very important Lean practice called Standardized Work.

Here are some definitions from the Lean Advisors Site:

Standardized Work

  • A Task is completed exactly the same way every time no matter who is performing the procedure.

Standardized Work Instructions

  • A visual step-by-step documentation that displays how to complete a task.
  • Work Instructions are a way of communicating to the employees the precise steps to be used to complete the given task.

But what I like more, the added great value of Standardized Work, is what Jon Miller writes in his blog Gemba Panta Rei:

Standard Work is not about work instructions for the operator. It is all about kaizen instructions for managers. […] By documenting the current most effective combination of manpower, machines and materials, these two documents (Standard Work Sheet, Standard Work Combination Sheet) show how the line or cell should be running – the standard. Any deviation seen requires kaizen. This is abnormality management.

PierG