“I Want To Do It My Way And Not The Standard Way”

Most everyone knows about the leaning tower of Pisa but why did it get that way? This is straight from Wikipedia – “The tower began to sink after construction had progressed to the third floor in 1178. This was due to a mere three-meter foundation, set in weak, unstable subsoil, a design that was flawed from the beginning.” If they had standard design and construction processes these disasters may have been avoided. Standard work might have saved one of the most famous Italian monuments. This instance we have something “interesting” from not following standard work but normally that is not the case.

What is Standard Work? Standard Work is a way to have a duplicatable and repeatable process that is improvable. Standard Work gives you consistency and if done correctly it gives a tool to systematically improve your processes. Here are some examples where Standard Work is important:
• Nuclear Reactor
• Airplane Pilot
• Airport Traffic Control
• Driving
• Any manufacturing or service process

Most people think Standard Work is work instructions but that is only affects the first 2 parts of repeatable and duplicatable. Here are some items you want to include when doing Standard Work and the category that they fall into:

There are other tools but these are a good starting point. Does your organization do the above listed tools? If you are not using the tools listed above are you really doing Standard Work? Short answer is probably not! Why spend the time implementing standard work? “Where there is no Standard there can be no improvement” – Taiichi Ohno (Founder of Toyota Production System). Standard Work is a corner stone for making improvements in your organization. You may see improvements with new process designs but those improvements will not continue unless there is robust Standard Work in place to allow for predictable changes. Not only will you continue to improve your organization but you will do it in a systematic and deliberate.
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