Sunday, August 05, 2007

So make it Standard Work anyway, dude


Had a small-ish project land on my desk about a week ago, one I really didn’t want to deal with. So I buried it under other activities for the week (don’t tell me you’ve never done this).

When I got to it Friday afternoon, unappealing though it was, I noted that in the period of inaction another similar project had landed on my desk and been similarly buried. What to do?

I chose to create Standard Work.

The task was administrative in nature and, as such, didn’t seem to lend itself to describing in a Standard Work form. I did it anyway and noted a few useful things.

First, the very act of making out a Standard Work form busted the inertia. I started breaking down the tasks and discovered it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined.

Second, I recalled a key principle of Lean. Start with the existing process and then practice kaizen, small changes for the better. This applied. By getting something down, no matter how imperfect or incomplete, I was advancing.

Third, in the doing of the (new) Standard Work, I saw how to make it better. Having a list to work off of was way better than just playing with it in my mind.

Try making something that seems non-standard Standard today. You might surprise yourself. Like I did.

Keep learning.


No comments: