Monday, January 28, 2013

Standardized Work & the Management System

By Pascal Dennis

Shall we begin 2013 with the fundamentals?

Why not!

Standardized work (STW), the best way we know right now, is a cornerstone of excellence.

By engaging our team members in finding & sharing the best way we know now, we
  • Engage minds & hearts,
  • Build our problem solving muscles,
  • Reduce waste & process variation, and
  • Lay the foundation for more improvement

Not a bad list.

But STW is part of a management system - a web of shared processes, tools and thinking.

Isolated, STW withers like a leaf on a poorly watered vine.

So what is a management system?

An integrated set of parts with a clearly defined goal.

The goal of the Toyota Production System (TPS), perhaps the world's most famous management system is:
  • Highest safety & quality
  • Lowest cost & lead time

TPS components include:
  • STW
  • Visual Management & 5 S
  • Just-In-Time
  • Quality in the process, and so on

One of the invisible enablers, and obstacles, to STW is our mental models - the way we see the world.

Let me give you an assignment.
  1. What are the elements of your management system?
  2. Which of these elements support STW?
  3. Any improvement opportunities?
  4. What are some mental models around STW in your organization?

Here's to a safe, happy & prosperous 2013.

Best regards,



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