The use of standard work instructions in a lean operations environment provides a single source of information for all parties to follow and offers multiple benefits for lean organizations. These include:
- Reduced output variability
- Higher predictability of success
- Clarification of procedures to follow
- Better communication between workers
- Faster identification of deviation and potential problems
- Increased awareness of processes
- A good base for education and training of employees
Following standard work instructions boosts process improvement and empowers organizations to follow lean management principles. This methodology reduces waste by eliminating variations that occur when different people complete the same task in different ways.
A common approach drives waste elimination by eliminating the variation that occurs when three different people complete the same task three different ways. When standardized work is used, those three individuals will complete the task precisely the same way, producing consistency of output.