How To Build Standardised Work

Build the Standardised Work

Engagement  – the standard is built with frontline operators to reflect the needs of the customer, SQDCP, and any legal requirements of the process. Most organisations find themselves in the unenvious position of having less than 5% of their people involved in building the standardised work.  It is no surprise, therefore, that standard operating procedures or work instructions sit on the shelf gathering dust and have no meaningful role in driving improvements.  A great deal of effort is spent creating standard operating procedures in order to demonstrate compliance when, in fact, this should be a known outcome from having a culture of improvement generated from standardised work.

Agreement of the ‘One Best Way’ must include:Graphic showing the SWC section of a standardised work chart

  • Work sequence – the order in which the task must be completed (the ‘WHAT TO DO’)
  • Takt – built to ensure the customer demand can be met
  • Standard In-Process Stock (SIPS) – minimising any inventory required to perform the task and enable flow

The Standardised Work Chart provides the overall view of the task at hand and can be described as providing:  the ‘WHAT TO DO’ for the operator.

The document is authorised by the appropriate parties (supervisor, quality, engineering, etc).  Most importantly, it is built by the team of operators with their team leader.

The Standardised Work, at the Job Element Sheet (JES) level defines the ‘HOW TO DO’ for the operators.  One JES represents one step on the Standardised Work Chart as seen above.  Building the JES must adhere to the following methodology to ensure process confirmation, operator training and problem-solving:

  • Step – Clearly identify the stepGraphic showing the JES section of a standardised work chart
  • Key Point – Articulate key aspects to perform the task
  • Reason Why – Explain the consequence of not following the Key Point (Consequence)

Training – Train all operators involved in the standard and track competency.  Training operators should follow the Job Instruction Technique.

It is at the JES level in standardised work that knowledge capture occurs.  It is only when work is defined at this level, providing clarity to drive safety, quality and productivity can the approach of standardised work as a platform for improvement truly take effect.


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This page was written by Mark Radley in February 2018.
Due for review in 2019.

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