I am working and creating some examples for the Lean Marketing House, and I wanted to create several A3 reports on several pieces of the foundations. As I was struggling to get started, I remembered what my first Lean teacher told me: Start with 5S so that you don’t spend your time on anything wasteful and then do Standard Work. Most people know what 5S is but Standard work may confuse a few. Standard work is a simple written description of the safest, highest quality, and the most efficient way known to perform a particular process or task.
There is no secret to standard work. Watch several people do the same task and see the difference. Is there much variance built into it? Why would I care about this in marketing? Just using the procedure for creating an ad or a direct mail piece. If there is a lot of variance in the production do you think the schedule will be met? More importantly, will the best use of creative time be used or are you the type that works better under pressure!!! The key to standard work is keeping it clear and simple, so staff can quickly and accurately complete their work.
When I started doing the standard work for a procedure there really was not one in place. I know it sound kind of corny, but really go to try to create an A3 report without a standard, it was next to impossible. I thought an A3 was supposed to make it easier. But the old guy was right, you have to know what you are doing before you improve on it. The photo of a Standard Work Template is provided by Systems2win.
As Taiichi Ohno said – “Where there is no standard, there can be no kaizen.”
Lean Marketing House Foundation