We will help you build a resilient system that will function outside of specific individuals or technical experts. Such a system will increase the likelihood of achieving what the customer wants when they want it, reduce business and personal risk, and reduce stress and frustration.

It’s our experience and belief that ‘Standardised Work’, ‘Standard Work’ etc. would be the most widely and diversely interpreted segment of any improvement program or endeavour. 

This was the primary reason for members of the TWI Institute travelling to Japan in 2018 and 2019 to meet with a source of the ‘concept’ – Mr Isao Kato. We needed to understand ‘Standardised Work’ as it was originally intended.

Perhaps the single most important result of our two trips was the understanding that Standardised Work is an end condition.

It is the end condition that exists in the workplace after Work Standards and Standard Work have been identified and taught, and both are being followed explicitly.

Kato reassured us that few organisations will reach this end condition, nor will they need to (commercial reality). However, they will gain significantly from applying the principles and philosophies of standardisation from the start and along the way.

By using the principles and philosophies of standardisation you can build stronger, more resilient systems. 

Find out how your organisation could benefit from standardisation by contacting us for a free opportunity evaluation. 

Find out more about Standardisation wtih Visual Workplace Australiasia

It’s the origins of Standardised Work that most interests me.

Find out more about Standardised Work’ from the source.

It’s getting started that most interests me.

Find out more about Getting Started with Work Standards.

Start By Understanding What We Might Be Missing

If it is missing, we have or will have a problem!

The inability to consistently get good product out the door and complaints from customers on quality issues hurt. The likelihood of both increases when standards are poorly understood and applied. Further, necessary frontline skills such as problem solving and training are increasing difficult for our leaders to sustain in an environment where standards are weak. Additionally, there is a human cost when inconsistent quality and productivity are present. (We wonder how high this cost is!)

All these may well be core reasons why Mr Isao Kato, Taiichi Ohno’s HR advisor during their development of Toyota’s production system, made two very telling statements applicable to any production or service provision system.

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‘Standardised Work’ from the source

As with ‘Chinese whispers’, the message changes over time…
After spending a week with Mr Isao Kato, Mr Taichi Ono’s HR advisor, in Japan at the end of October 2019 it became clear that common understanding of standardised work has developed many shades of grey. When provided with Mr Kato’s Step Up Reference Model we realised most of us are at or not much beyond the first step. That was daunting. The good news is a tremendous amount of value can be gained from undertaking just the lower steps.

Getting Started with Work Standards

The What, Why and Practicing How.
With our guidance you will practice Work Standards development – your robust foundation for your program of Standardised Work. You will learn of and apply proven principles (as opposed to mimicking other systems). Mr Isao Kato’s quote – ‘Without Work Standards there will be no standardised work’ will make very good sense.
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Take your learning with you

As your point of reference during the training and beyond, you will be provided with our Work Standards Development ePocket card.

Hear from our Getting Started with Work Standards participants

“I appreciate your insight to help us stabilize our processes. My expertise is focused on operations. The initial focus on Work Standards for product and equipment has really helped me focus on what is important to the operators.”

Chris Gaechter
Continuous Improvement Manager, Continental Structural Plastics

“This workshop gave meaning to the quote from Mr Kato (Ohno’s HR Advisor) ‘Without work standards there will be no standardised work’.”

Kevin Little
Eco Designs

I really appreciate the work and thought put into the visual elements of the session. Having Oscar change cameras to show what he was doing felt more like we were in the room with him.

Brad Martinez
Grant County Public Utility District

“I liked working through the first three Step-ups to get a better understanding of what they are about. The visual exercise/discussion with the workpiece was particularly helpful.”

Daniel Barker

“I found the workshop provided clarity. I find the concept of Standardized work challenging. Participating in the workshop provided a better understanding of what it is about.”

Daniel Barker

“The concept of normal makes more sense to me than anything else in ‘Lean’ in the last 15 years.”

Frank Cotroneo
Warburn Estate

“You could start a whole Continuous Improvement / Lean journey in an organisation just from that one red card / green card concept.”

Peter Ramsden

Foundations of Standardised Work

Based on the program Kato communicated in the 2019 trip to Japan, we have a standardised work introductory program for upper and middle managers – ‘Foundations of Standardised Work’.

Content comes from the source (Kato), enabling upper or middle managers to become familiar with key components of ‘standardisation’. Managers obtain a feel for what striving for ‘standardised work’ might look like, and what their organisations likely next step is.

For more information on the Foundations of Standardised Work visit the TWI Institute USA’s website. 

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Make ‘Normal’ Easy To See

The primary purpose of a Work Standard is to communicate ‘normal’.

‘Normal’ is the predetermined acceptable standard

‘Work Standards’ are in most cases documents, or at least start as documents. Beware of them becoming a pile on a persons desk! Their influence on the work as it’s happening will be low if it all ends there…

Where there is highest risk of quality, safety and productivity problems, value is added to Work Standards by applying Visual Thinking. We guide visual thinking development giving rise to rapid communication of ‘normal’, also making ‘abnormal’ easy to see for anyone. Work Standards come alive at the point of need.

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Take your learning with you

As your point of reference during the training and beyond, you will be provided with our Make Normal Easy To See ePocket card.

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Countermeasure Skills Now Pulled In

Work Standards are now established.

The path to Standardised Work largely accommodates two fundamental things – building adherence to Work Standards and problem solving ‘abnormal’.

Build adherence via TWI

Building adherence requires 2 essential skills to be practiced at the frontline.

A frequent common hurdle will be ‘don’t know, can’t do’ which will require the countermeasure skill of instructing. Then, people will be people, and there will be situations, or potential situations, of ‘does know, can do, but isn’t’. That calls for the skill of leading.

Learn more about both these skills through our Training Within Industry Foundational Knowledge resources. 

Practice thinking scientifically

Problem solving of ‘abnormal’ doesn’t require a complex pattern or problem solving software, at least not to start with.

An incremental straightforward ‘what’s our next step (driven by scientific thinking) approach?’ will take you a long way.

Learn more about practicing scientific thinking with our Toyota Kata Foundational Knowledge resources.

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