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.