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What is Standard Work?

Standard work is an attempt to create a reproducible process that allows anyone to perform the same service with the goals of eliminating confusion and assumptions. This is done by creating instructions or a visualization like a checklist.

Fig. 1 Sample login instructions

Fig. 1 Sample login instructions

When should I use it?

This is helpful to develop when you have processes in your work that have never been documented and you find that people on your team are not providing the same service. Creating standard work helps ensure that everyone on your team is providing the same service to everyone interacting with that process. By developing your own standards, your team will know how long it takes to do something because there is a standard way of doing it.

How do I facilitate it?

There are three steps to create any type of standard work:

  1. Provide a simple series of directions;
  2. Use visualizations to show how the directions are done in order for others to follow; and
  3. Show the finished product you would like as an outcome


  • Keep steps in practical, short sentence format (i.e., checklists)
  • Use diagrams with directions (i.e. screenshots)
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