How important is it to establish standards in your business?
Consider this, without standardization how will you recognize opportunities for improvement?
Without standardization, how can you drive the practices of a highly effective team through the rest of the organization?
Even more importantly, how will you measure or improve quality without standards?
50% variation in the productivity of two groups of workers doing identical jobs on the same site and at the same time. This gap in productivity was found to vary by 500% at different sites. - Sourceable
According to the Lean Enterprise Institute, “standardized work is one of the most powerful but least used lean tools. By documenting the current best practice, standardized work forms the baseline for kaizen or continuous improvement.”
Here are ten reasons to embrace standardized work today!
- There is a direct correlation between decreasing variability and increasing quality. Consistent work allows you to scale processes across teams and to apply learnings from one project to another.
- “Getting the job done” is not the same as getting the job done right! Many businesses struggle to find the time to improve processes and instead continue with the status-quo. This type of business management stifles growth and limits opportunities to increase revenue.
- Standardization of work drives measurable efficiency improvements. When all of your teams are following the same processes you can quickly identify opportunities for improvement and accurately measure the effectiveness of your teams.
- Standardized work, captured at the task-level, highlights opportunities for improvement and areas of excellence. When you understand how your teams are working, you can identify best practices and training opportunities.
- Standards eliminate knowledge silos and allow all employees the same opportunity to excel. Instead of passing knowledge from one generation to another, standards allow businesses to create task-based training programs.
- Standardization makes it possible to visualize and recognize patterns that contribute to schedule blockages or quality issues. When the same issue appears across multiple projects completed to a set of standards, you can quickly identify where improvements must be made.
- One of the most significant ways to improve quality is through standardization. When your teams do the same thing, the same way again and again, quality and efficiency naturally improve.
- Standards create consistency, even across broad geographical regions. When all of your teams are operating under the same set of standards, you can leverage teams across the organization to meet temporary increases in labor demands.
- Without standards, it is impossible to apply consistent algorithms that drive business intelligence and support machine-learning-based optimizations. Standardization makes it possible to implement machine learning and artificial intelligence to streamline processes and improve efficiency.
- Throughout standardization, organizations can optimize their most profitable projects. When you know which projects are most profitable, you can know where to apply your resources and how to plan future work.
Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort. – John Ruskin
To sum it up, standards improve quality at all levels of the business by eliminating friction to make work more fluid. It is an essential element of excellence that leaders within an organization must be willing to establish to continue to grow and develop the business.