Why Standard Work fails

I see a lot of lean practitioners missing the point of Standard work. Too often, standard work is implemented as step of a Lean Six Sigma Deployment without really understanding their purpose. As result, I visit too many plans in which standard work is used to show customers they are doing "lean" or just to check the box of a their continuous improvement plan. However, little or none value is gained from having it.

 Lean Six Sigma Deployment Memory Jogger, page 68

Standard work is just one step from a SYSTEM FOR IMPROVEMENT as presented in the "Cycle of Improvement" from the Lean Six Sigma Deployment Memory Jogger (page 68.) 

In this cycle, problems are made visible thanks to standardized expectations and then kaizen (continuous improvement) can be done to meet these expectations. That is why we say "There is not kaizen without standard work"; but it is also true "there is not standard work without kaizen" as performance naturally decays. Standard work then is a result to a system for improvement.   

Having standard work without the system for improvement is like having a fish without water. It is unsustainable. 

Contrary to the common approach of standard work, learn from traditional Industrial Engineering programs, standard work should not be the objective by itself, it is the means to the end: a cycle of kaizen.

A system for improvement requires processes in which supervisors and team leaders know how to use the Standard work following the 4 steps of the cycle of improvement shown above.

We use Standard work to eliminate waste, but if we create Standard work without the system nor teaching how to use it, we have only created more waste. 

Are you creating more waste?

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I proven this solution in a company that totally not believe in Six Sigma, it was a hard time to get management buy in but now they are convinced when they
    personally witness more than 30 GB project achieve more than 50% quality improvement and secure mufti million saving for the company.This is the reason why I earn a
    chance to share in Munich Six Sigma Black Belt Course