What is Standard Work?

Standard work is one of the principles of lean manufacturing. Standard work is the agreed-upon way that a task, process, or system should operate. Within each step, we define the content, sequence, timing, and outcome to be clear on how to achieve repeatable results. Some critics of standard work argue that standard work is too restrictive and doesn’t allow for creativity. From our experience, this is simply not true. When we have standard work, it gives us time to be creative and talk about the things that actually matter while achieving higher quality. 

How Did We Incorporate Standard Work Into Our Process?

At first, not all of us wanted to have standard work, but ultimately we couldn’t actually improve unless we had a process. Without defining a process, people cannot improve because there is no standard to improve upon. After the content, sequence, timing, and outcomes are defined, improvements jump off the page. Not only are they easy to identify, but they are the right improvements we need to make. 

Learn More About Standard Work

If you are interested in learning more about standard work and our journey with continuous improvement, we would love to hear from you. 

We are a teaching factory. We choose to share what we have learned about Kaizen and other continuous improvement principles with other businesses and organizations through our Kaas Waste Tours, which we host in our living, breathing manufacturing facility in Mukilteo, Washington.

At Kaas Tailored, we talk a lot about continuous improvement as a culture. We use words like Bit, One-Piece Flow, and Kaizen, which can feel confusing if you are just starting your journey. We have put together a small series that explains how we think and talk about reducing waste within our company so that you can have the vocabulary to start identifying waste within your world. Then we can work together to help you start your own journey of continuous improvement.