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The 1 Thing Your Team Needs to Win the Defect Battle

If you are not in the operations or quality management world, you can skip this article. Otherwise, this is a must read. While none of this information is probably new to quality or operations professionals, this one tool is so important that giving it a fresh look may hold the key to taking your team to the next level in your continuous improvement and quality efforts.

Today, we’re looking at Standard Work.

If you manage an operator intensive operation, I promise you that a lack of standardized work will eventually result in operational inefficiencies, missed KPIs, poor quality results, and finally unsatisfied customers.

The below table shows common errors, their causes, as well potential countermeasures.

Just a quick glance through the above table shows the impact work standardization, work instructions, as well as other types of visual work documentation can have in preventing and eliminating errors in manufacturing. This is why standard work is widely considered a foundational block of lean transformation. This tool can eliminate and prevent many types of waste and non-value-added activities.

At the very minimum, an effective implementation of standard work would provide the following benefits:

  • Operations are broken down to manageable pieces in order to meet customer requirements.

  • The current best practices are defined and documented.

  • You have the minimum required foundation to minimize the operator-to-operator variations as standards are defined.

  • You have the right tool for time and motion studies to identify non-value-added activities as well as improvement opportunities.

  • Your system is capable of successful cross training

  • You can provide consistent on the job training to new hires.

Even though the benefits offered by standard work are abundantly clear to most operations and quality professionals, many organizations still struggle with developing the right standardized work and then managing and controlling the work instruction and keeping them up to date as they grow

If your organization has figured out a way to develop, create, and maintain reliable standard work documentation and you have streamlined the development and training processes with the right amount of built in automation to minimize the non-value-added administrative tasks, then you’re in a great place to stabilize your production system and create quality products for your customers. If that’s not the case, then the creation of a standard work system can be a major opportunity for improvement.

At Optegrity Solutions, we offer a suite of applications that are built with frontline employees’ requirements in mind, easy to use and with visual and smart workflows. If you need more information or you would like to try the tool for free, please reach out to me at I’d be happy to show you how Optegrity Solutions is here to help excellence flow.

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