Friday Morning Thought

From the How Toyota Can Save Your Life… At the Hospital manifesto on,

Another major foundation of the Toyota Production system is “Standard Work.” In most non-lean nvironments, we observe and hear about employees each doing things their own way, because no standard has been identified or because there is no oversight to make sure standards are followed. This was true at a General Motors factory I worked in during the mid-1990’s and it’s true in every hospital this author has observed. The lack of Standard Work leads to waste.

I think the point that resonates with me the most is in last sentence, “a lack of standard work leads to waste.”  Having worked in 15+ different jobs (part-time, intern, and full-time) in my 25 years of life, I have seen and experienced almost every type of system at work.  And it is frustrating to me when I’m stuck at a place that does not value “standard work”, meaning that there’s no standard to reach for and everyone is left to fend for themselves.  I hate that.  In environment such as this, oftentimes your best workers will either quit or become influenced to the mediocre culture and become complacent due to a lack of accountability.


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