Standardized Work and Processes

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Lean, Lean Six Sigma | 0 comments

Standardized work is the effective combination of people, materials, procedures, and equipment to create a product or service in minimum time using minimum resources.  Standardized work is the key to sustaining your project gains, whether they be from lean, Six Sigma, or a kaizen event.
Standardized work has three elements: 1. Takt time, 2. Work content and resources, and 3. Standard in-process inventory.  Standardized work should answer the following questions:
  1. What quality standards must be met by the product or service?
  2. How much should it cost to make the product or service?
  3. How many products or services do you need delivered and by when?
  4. What safety precautions must be met?

The following are a list of guidelines to consider during the improve phase or when you are ready to implement standard work in your project:
  • Standard work must be established in an operation throughout the value stream and for all products.
  • Standard work must be understood at all levels for management to appropriately support, and workers to appropriately perform.
  • Adjust your standard work to human ease and effectiveness and not machine efficiency.  The goal of standardized work is to help people be more safe and effective at what they do.
  • Standardize any and all work that is performed repeatedly.  The more you can repeat a process, the better you can standardize it and reap the benefits.
  • Visual process controls are required for making it easier to do the job right than wrong.
  • Management is accountable for assuring standard work is maintained.
  • Improvements must be integrated into the standard work content on an on-going basis.

The Process Control Plan is used to manage standard work.  A flow chart or checklist provides work content and sequence information for the process.  Measurement indicators on the key process or input variables provide information about the health of the process.  The control actions themselves provide instructions and accountability, should the measures fail to meet performance criteria.

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