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Standardized Work Formats

I encounter a lot of people asking what format should their standardized work be in.  There seems to be a misconception that the work combination chart is the format for everything.  Which causes questions/concerns like, “How do I do a start-up procedure in this format?” or “I design products and putting a time down for each step is not feasible.”

Multiple formats for standardized work is fine to have.  But once you pick a format for a type of work then that format should be standardized throughout.  Through my work, here are the formats that I have found to work well with types of work:

  • Work Combination Charts – Manufacturing tasks such as assembly, changeovers and other repeated work (Example Work Combination Chart)
  • Checklists – Leader standard work, start-up and shutdown procedures, design work, or any other work where a step-by-step is needed to ensure nothing is missed.  Used a lot in the office environment (Example Checklist and Leader Standard Work)
  • Layouts Diagrams – Material handling or movement.  A spaghetti diagram with instructions works well.
  • Picture Diagrams – Assembly of complicated components.  A great example is LEGO instructions.

The format (digital or hardcopy) and size of the paper are up to the people doing the work.  Just be consistent once a decision is made.

Remember, it isn’t how the standardized work instruction looks.  It is about getting everyone to agree to execute something in a standardized way.  When this is done an issue can be spotted quickly when the standardized way isn’t followed allowing for an improvement opportunity.