Learn About Standard Work


Often there are several ways to do a task but only one of these ways is the most efficient use of resources. Any individual can choose to do things in their own preferred way and it may prove to be the best method. However, an organization cannot rely on that method in case they take leave or move to another role. Also, that best approach remains the speciality of one individual and not within the organization. Over time, the skills needed to performance a task can become lost and the process of relearning is repeated.

The Standard Work approach is established so that it is practical and useful to everyone and free of difficulty. Standard Work is also not perfect and is considered a living document that develops over time.  But remember, standard work will die very quickly if it is ignored.


When you think about a problem that occurs in a process or service, the source of that problem often comes down to one of three conditions:

  • A lack of a standard
  • The standard was not followed
  • The standard needs improvement

Having Standard Work in place means that we are trying to address these causes by creating a documented baseline and that we train to the baseline standard. Then we audit the standard to confirm it is being followed and is the current best practice.  Once Standard Work is in place, it becomes the baseline for all future improvements.