by Franck Demarest
When discussing this subject with many people, I often encounter the dilemma about the location of standardised work sheet meaning either close to the line or in a cupboard in management office.
About which standard documents we are talking about, let’s differentiate the support document (standardised work combination table, chart and time study) and the visual document (job element sheet also called work instruction sheet – see picture). The focus of this post is around Job Element Sheet.
To answer that I usually refer to the purpose of standardised work. What is the goal of having standardised work documents? From my experience, I think we need it from 2 perspectives: TRAINING and AUDITING. As a result of that if your audit frequency is low (i.e. 1 / month) it might be not necessary to display it on the line. But as a prerequisite to this, it means your training system should be very robust.
What is robust standardised work training?
Too often in industrial world, we have a tendency to under-value the training system. To compare to learning swimming, we usually put people in the bath and hope they will manage by themselves how to survive in water and potentially be able to go through water without concerns.
As a result I come across different ways of training people. The most helpful I found as of now is around the letter STAC. It stands for Show, Train, Assess and Confirm. The timing you allocate to each phase might vary depending on process complexity and total length of cycle.
The idea beneath is that you should firstly have the new operator as a shadow to an experienced member (he could then read the work instructions, see the flow and start to notice some abnormalities). The experienced worker should then confirm that the rookie understand the document (content, sequence, key points). You could also make this outside of the line in a dedicated training area even though the principle is the same.
In order to ramp up the new person, you should proceed in progressive steps. For example if you work sequence is divided in 10 steps, you should train at first on step 1 and 2 and make sure the person can proceed repetitively to ensure safety and quality. Later on you could go to add step by step, confirming at each new added block that still repetitively guaranteed. In between, you should also check the know how of key safety / quality points.
Once the full sequence is known and demonstrated, you could focus on the cycle time achievement.
After prior phases are completed you could perform the D-Day. It is time for team-leader (different from the people who trained) to assess the new person in completing the job in safety, quality and time. It includes also some questioning of key knack points. At the end the score should release the new operator to be able to work by himself. Of course the organisation should show that even release the new worker could have just in time support through andon systems and / or managers supervision.
As human being is continuously striving to achieve better, we should ensure consistency to keep achieving best safety, quality and time of process. This re-assessment is a way to discuss with operator about potential difficulties and improvements. The frequencies have to be set by your company (for example some places have it done on a weekly basis for each individual).
Standardised work is not rocket science. It deserves some thinking before implementing it, not only from a physical location point of view (display it) but also from a training methodology (STAC). In fact, we have to remember that any Lean Element we want to introduce should be initiated by a need for the company. In order to introduce elements, we must think it over to ensure we understand the purpose we want to serve.
About the Author
Hello, I am Franck Demarest, 32 years old. I am French and have been working in the continuous improvement field in the automotive industry. I have been in Tier 1 ((JIT Production Responsible, 6 Sigma Black Belt and Lean Facilitator) during 4 years and in Toyota during 3 years (TPS implementation at supplier and inside Toyota). I am now working in the packaging industry as European Lean Champion. My studies were around production, logistic and quality and as Industrial Engineer.