Process improvement project - Control -

standard work audit
Is your Standard Work task being performed as intended?

Please refer to Standard Work Instruction article to see how to create a Standard Work Instruction.

So you created Standard Work Instructions to show employees how to perform a task using standard steps, now what?  Are employees following the correct process?  Did they slip back into their old style?

It is important to train & manage your supervisors, Quality coordinator or Process Excellence team members to perform regular Standard Work Audits.

These are performed using a Standard Work Audit template.  It is one thing to thoroughly analyze and re-design a process on paper, and it is another thing to ensure that things are actually being done as per the Standard Work Instructions.

Standard Work Audits provide a systematic way to solicit and notice your worker's ideas for "doing things even better and faster"
and then formally incorporate those better ways into the Standard Work Instructions.

It is important to remember to keep all documents in sync and updated.  Keep a Revision Log of version number and what's changed.

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How to perform a Standard Work Audit

Choose a Process for auditing where a Standard Work Instruction has already been created, trained and implemented.

1. Review the Standard Work Instruction for key Items or Steps, and choose one or more employees using the Instruction.  It makes sense to choose both employees who perform the process regularly, as well as others who only perform the process occasionally.

2. List the Questions you want to ask on the sheet, to ensure the employees understanding of the process step or item.

Take time to sit alongisde the employee and ask the questions listed, noting on the Standard Work Audit form any points observed and reference documents used to perform the task.

3. Mark on the sheet if the observations made are Value Add (VA), Non Value Add (NVA) or Necessary Non Value Add (NNVA).

4. Use the Process Map/Drawings section to make pictures, workflows or other diagram that will help you to review the process later.

5. Finally, use the bottom section of the form to note any improvement opportunities or remarks that may require a change to process.  This is critical to the audit.  Dont forget to thank the employees for their time.

6. After the Standard Work Audit is finished for all employees indentified, review the completed audit forms and most importantly the improvement opportunities.  Compare these to the current process and Standard Work Instructions, and make the necessary changes.

7. Finally, it is important that if there has been any changes made, all employees performing this process are re-trained, with all changes highlighted.

And so the Continuous Improvement cycle continues.  Be sure to make a note in the Process and Calendar of the revision date.  It is recommended that Standard Work Audits and Process reviews should take place at least one time per year.

As a Lean consultancy, we are passionate about simplicity and Lean is a mindset that we apply in all our areas of activity. Our reward is when we know that we helped you meeting your business objectives, where both management skills and tools play a key role.