Mistakes and variability in the results of carrying out a task are both directly related to the absence of shared standards understood by every employee inside an organization.
In theory, the same activity can be carried out in many different ways. In practical terms, though, to ensure that the same processes have the same results, there has to be a standard – only consistent processes can lead to consistent results.
Establishing and adopting standards can guarantee process and procedure stability. It also prevents mistakes from happening and recurring. In parallel, they contribute to preserve knowledge, seeing as they avoid focusing specific know-how on the one person who is on top of the subject. Standards are guidelines that make it easier to delegate tasks and keep things running, regardless of changes happening in the organization. More so, standardizing is undoubtedly important when hiring new people for a company – they simplify training, making it more effective.
Creating standards should be a process that follows very specific criteria. They have to be simple, accessible and easily understood. Each standard has to be unique: there cannot be more than one standard for carrying out a task at any given moment.
When initiating this process of conceptualizing the standard, make sure to involve the people who really know the task. Trying to make a standard visible and graphic should also be a priority, given that 83% of information is assimilated through visual input.
These are the 7 golden rules of the standardization process:
1. Identify the main activities developed in each area of the work;
2. Prioritize each task by order of importance;
3. For each of the main activities, define who will be a part of developing the standard;
4. Observe the process before and after and identify differences between the two ways of performing the activity;
5. Build the standard in a visual way;
6. Train people according to the new standard;
Those who employ the method of standardizing tasks can look forward to completing tasks successfully, with fewer mistakes and, therefore, with consistent results. It is also great to observe how people will be less dependent on each other to fulfill simpler tasks – not to mention the benefits of simplifying the integration of new employees.