4Standard Work

“Standard work” is the foundation for improvement. It represents the current understanding of the best way, or the “right way,” to work, and in so doing allows for comparison with new approaches and techniques. Standard work is not devised and imposed by leaders or managers. Rather, it’s developed by the people who are actually doing the job—after all, no one has a better understanding of how things really work than they do. An added benefit is that it generates shared knowledge, as workers within departments cooperate and communicate to define the best way to work. Leaders need standard work, too. It ensures predictability and consistency of action, prevents important issues from falling through the cracks, and is a powerful tool ...

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