Standardized Work: How My White Board Keeps me On Track

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Review of: Standard Work
Pete Abilla

Reviewed by:
On March 18, 2013
Last modified:November 17, 2014


A discussion on standard work and its relation to kaizen. A white board is used as a tool to help with standard work.

A simple Standard Work Board that follows the tried and true principle of Standard Work help me a lot. Let me share with you the white board I use at work that helps me remain productive and keeps me focused on the right things.

Standard Work

We know that when there is no standard, there is no Kaizen. So, this post is about the standards we create around our daily work life to help us focus on the right things and engage in behavior is productive and on track.

My white board is divided up into 4 quadrants and 1 Main Area (I’ve removed the contents to maintain confidentiality):

  1. North Star: This area that occupies the top center of my white board reminds me the ultimate goal and the number 1 priority of my role and job – that is to improve the customer experience. The rest of the quadrants should support my North Star. This isn’t quite Hoshin Kanri, but it’s in that spirit.
  2. Metrics: This area displays the key metrics that I follow or am accountable for. I update this daily.
  3. Hot: This area are things that I need to have a pulse on – these are either current projects or other items that require my daily attention.
  4. Standard Work: This area shows 3-5 items that I need to do daily – things I are either natural rituals or behaviors that I need to ritualize in order to make them into habits.
  5. Goals: This quadrant displays my goals and also tracks how I’m doing against them.

kamishibair board, standard work

A Note on Rituals

There a set of behaviors that need to be made into a daily ritual – these behaviors then become habits. A perfect candidate for behaviors that should be ritualized are acts that don’t come naturally or behaviors that are important, but new. For example, suppose a behavior that should become part of your standard work is to first walk the floor, say hello to your team members, before you log into your computer to check email. If your natural predisposition is to log in and check email, then ritualizing the behavior of saying hello to your team is a good one to make into a daily ritual.

What do You Do?

What do you do to help you remain productive and ensure that you focus on the right things daily?


  1. Frank says

    Nice post Pete !!

    This is a great example of how to see the big picture and the road that leads to it. Can you give me an example of the difference between a goal and a metric? All of my metrics have goals, so I’m a little confused why you have two quadrants.



    • says

      Hi Frank. Thanks for your comment.

      As far as goals and metrics go, they can be represented as one and the same. For me, it’s helpful to have both the goal and the measurements separate. For example, the goal might be “reduce unnecessary expedited shipments by 15%”. The metric might be a run chart that shows the rate of expedited shipments. I like to separate those, but they can easily be one and the same.

      Again, thank you for taking the time to read shmula.

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