Please picture in your mind’s eye a group of soldiers matching in step at a parade to music played by a band. What makes the variation by the marching soldiers and the band minimal? Standard work describes how a given process should be performed to achieve the highest level of efficiency and quality. It includes the required tasks, in order, with exceptions handling, etc. Naturally the standardized process should be well documented and easily accessed by the team. It’s also worth mentioning that the standardization should be as clear and simple as possible so that the team can quickly and accurately complete their work. The process standardization simplicity test is whether an unskilled person can quickly understand and complete the work without error.
Finally we’ll discuss how process standardization can assist with troubleshooting performance problems. Whenever you discover a performance problem in your organization, ask the following questions: Was there process standardization in place? If ‘yes’, was it followed? If ‘no’, was the process standardization clear? If it was unclear, it needs to be clarified e.g. through targeted training. If the process standardization was clear and it was followed, it likely indicates that there is a problem with the process. Correct the problem and this becomes the ‘new’ standardized process. The diagram on the right illustrates this.
So what do you think: Are your main processes standardized? Well known? Clear? How often do you re-visit and improve process standardization.
Did you know: Public Service Request supports process standardization by enabling work process templates to be associated with specific request types. This ensures that the request follows the standard process. Want to find out more? Contact Dave Robbins for a demo. You can also contact him if you require custom training or assistance in implementing any of the suggestions discussed in this and previous posts.