What Is Standardised Work?

Standardised Work

Goal: The goal of Standardised Work is to provide a platform of stability for continuous improvement in the organisation. Organisations bought into the idea of daily, incremental improvements to the process, understand the importance of having a platform – a knowledge base – for those ideas to flourish in.


The purpose of Standardised Work is to capture the one best way of performing a process to ensure:

  • Safe production at the best quality to the right quantity.
  • A knowledge base for Continuous Improvement and Problem Solving
  • Ensure operating consistency – reduce variation


  • Improved safety
  • Improved Quality
  • People engaged in continuous improvement
  • Repeatable process
  • People development

standardised work in geneo

Importance of Standardised Work

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 13.57.54 Standardised Work helps the organisation to meet its production targets safely and to the right quality and volume. Aligning work to the Takt Time enables organisations to understand where the waste lies in the process and whether, by working to customer demand, the burden of work is balanced appropriately, focussing efforts on improving bottlenecks. Standardised Work is, therefore, a fundamental principle, and not by accident appears in the foundation of the Lean House (see below), providing stability for the operation. Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 14.05.23

Role of the Leader in Standardised Work

The primary role of the leader is to ensure the standard can be adhered to. Any interruptions or unnecessary deviations that affect the work sequence should be removed from the working environment enabling the operator to follow the standard. The leader must also:

  • Process Confirmation – Ensure the standard is adhered to. A ‘one best way’ has been established and agreed to by the operators. To ensure safety, quality, flow and improved capacity, the standard must be executed exactly as stated. ‘What is the standard, was it followed, is it adequate?’
  • Continuous Improvement – Ensure that the Standardised Work is the baseline for any improvement

Graphic showing the PDCA improvement cycle and the importance of standardised work in chocking the gains

  • People Development – Through capturing best practice with operators and sharing knowledge through Standardised Work, the ‘one best way’ is locked in. This enables a versatile, multi-skilled workforce and reduces the risk of losing ‘know how’..
  • Problem Solving – Facilitate problem-solving activities with Standardised Work providing the baseline for investigation.’What is the standard, was it followed, is it adequate?’ Lock in the countermeasure once in place.

Graphic showing the PDCA attributes of standardised work

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This page was written by Bob Newton in February 2018. Due for review in 2019.
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