Lean Tools for process improvement


Standard Work

Perhaps the single most important lean principle —
because it avoids backsliding into old habits

Standardized Work

Standard Work Templates

Standard Work template

Standard Work Combination Sheet

6 tools in 1:

  1. layout diagram spaghetti map
  2. concise standard work instructions
  3. value add analysis & pie chart
  4. work load balancing & bar chart
  5. changeover setup reduction
  6. standard work chart

Learn more about this Excel template

Standard Work Combination Sheet and Value Add Analysis
Lean videoStandard Work
training videos

Yamazumi Board

To rearrange tasks to eliminate waste and balance work loads.


Download free trial Yamazumi Chart template

Yamazumi Chart template
Yamazumi Chart

Standard Work Chart

Draw spaghetti maps and layout diagrams with this easy-to-use Excel template
(without the cost and learning curve of Visio).

Learn more about the Standard Work Chart,
which you can now test drive as a free trial
as part of the Std Work Combination Sheet.

Layout Diagram Excel template

A3 Illustrator for Stick Figure Drawing

Easily illustrate PowerPoint, Word, and any other type of document
with intuitive stick figure drawings that access the creative, intuitive,
problem-solving side of the brain.

Especially useful for Lean Office and Lean Healthcare

A3 Illustrator

Cross Functional Flowchart

While the Standard Work Sheet is the right tool for highly repetitive processes,
the Cross Functional Flowchart is often a better choice for less repetitive processes

(think sales order entry, engineering changes, and most Lean Administration processes)

Cross functional flowchart

Work Instructions

The visual Work Instructions template is the right tool for training new-hires, temporaries, and cross-trained workers — by providing pictures of each step,
and written training instructions that are far more detailed than is appropriate for Standard Work Instructions.

Work Instructions template

Job Breakdown Sheet 

Instructor Notes used by a supervisor or trainer to prepare to effectively train a worker using the TWI Job Instructions training method.

Job Breakdown Instructor Notes

Standard Operating Procedure

This simple Word template is popular for documenting office procedures
and less repetitive processes.

It comes with online help for how to insert screen shots and images, use numbered outlines, Link Icons, dynamic Table of Contents, and more features of Microsoft Word that your people probably would not use if they did not have this easy-to-use Word template with online training and videos.

standard operating procedure software template

Standard Work Audit

Just because you trained everyone, and got them to swear on their mother's grave
to agree to always do it the best way that everyone agreed to do it...
does that mean that everyone will actually do it that way?

A management axiom is: "Expect people to do the right thing — and be prepared
to correct."

Lean Kaizen Standard Work Audit Excel template

5S Audit

To audit workplace cleanliness and organization.

The only way to solve problems is to reveal them.
And problems are much more easily revealed in a clean, organized workplace.

Download free trial 5S Checklist

5S Scorecard

Also see the Leader Standard Work templates

Bookmark = Training

Standard Work Training
& Demo Videos

Standard Work Videos & Training

Additional relevant training

The Sample and Help worksheets of every template
always contain training relevant to THAT template

Translations available for immediate delivery include:

  • Spanish: Instrucciones de trabajo estándar
  • Portuguese: Instruções de Trabalho Padrão
  • French: Instructions de travail standard
  • Chinese: 标准工作说明

Also see the other Lean tools
that come bundled with your Standard Work template


Additions & Corrections

to the training found on the Sample and Help worksheets

Instructions for how to mark the layout diagram picture to be automatically copied when you Chart Operators:

Select your Layout Diagram image, then in the Name box (just to the left of the Formula Bar), type the word "Layout" and then press the Enter key.







Make sure your sound is on.
Video Help

Selecting the right
Standard Work Tools Standard Work - video



Standard Work video - Part Two
Analysis standard work video


Layout Diagram video spaghetti diagram video


Video: Time Observation for Process Time and Cycle Time

What is Standard Work?

Definition of Standard Work:

Detailed instructions for the best proven method to produce a product or service.

Work is broken down into clearly-defined sequential work elements.

Any variations from the currently-agreed-upon best practices will probably waste time or cause quality problems.

Standard work serves as the baseline upon which to improve. If someone comes up with a better way, then standard work should be revised so that everyone does it the new better way.

Standard Work must be one of the foundations of any Lean Six Sigma program.

It (alone) allows you to "ratchet" your hard-earned gains —
without constant backsliding into old habits.


"There is no improvement without standard work."

~ Taiichi Ohno - Toyota

The Three Basic Elements of Standard Work

  1. Takt Time

    The rate of customer demand.
    Process Cycle Time must satisfy this demand.

  2. Work sequence

    The order of steps that must be performed
    (operator work, walk, & wait time, and machine time)

  3. Standard work in process inventory (WIP)

    The amount of inventory normally stocked at specified places within the process
    in quantities sufficient to facilitate process flow while minimizing the 7 deadly wastes.


Standard Work Procedures

The Standard Work form is 6 tools in 1

  1. Layout Diagram spaghetti map
  2. Value Add Analysis (auto-calculates pie chart)
  3. Work Balancing (auto-draws work load balancing bar chart in relation to Takt Time)
  4. Standard Work Instructions & Analysis
  5. Quick Changeover tool for setup reduction
  6. Standard Work Combination Sheet visual time chart


Standard Work template

Standard Work examples - download free trial

This is the ideal tool to analyze a process to identify and eliminate waste.

Easily add pictures in the 'Pictures and Charts' white space to the right of the instructions.

Because you can't skip rows for instructions (no blank rows)... the pictures won't always line up with the instructions,
so group a picture with a small text box containing the Step number.

For additional details for any work element, you can drill down to a related document — such as a training video, PowerPoint, Work Instructions, Job Breakdown, Standard Operating Procedure, flowchart, value stream map, or another Standard Work Sheet.

Any or all of these related documents can then be taped to the wall near each work station — to provide visual standard work instructions to remind workers not to cut corners or invent renegade ways of doing things that might reduce productivity or cause quality problems.

Standard Work Combination Sheet

Simply click a button to auto-draw the standard work table
for either all operators — or for selected operators.

Standard Work Combination Sheet Excel template






Yamazumi Chart

Yamazumi Chart

Also see the
Yamazumi Chart
Excel template
that also comes with the Lean Tools bundle



Download free trial


Standard Work Template

  Features & Benefits
  Auto-draw a Standard Work Combination Sheet

with a single click of a button - for all or selected operators

  Easily add hyperlinks

to related documents and videos

  Fully customizable header fields

to capture the data that is most important to YOUR processes

  Value Add Pie Chart

easily personalized to analyze your own user-defined types of waste

  Auto-draws bar chart for Work, Walk, Wait, and Machine Time

saving you from the chore of erasing and re-drawing every time anything changes

  Free online Lean Dictionary, online training, and videos

to teach your people what they need to know to use their powerful new Excel templates

  A single chart can have anywhere from 2 to 200 lines of work elements

scaling to display the exact number of rows you need - without annoying blank rows

  Gracefully handles large processes with more than 200 rows

by drilling down to greater levels of detail

  Dropdown lists

to populate fields more easily and without typos

  Table of standard work times

easily personalized for your industry

  Visual icon images

for personal protection equipment, hazardous materials, or any other purpose unique to your industry

  Easily draw your Spaghetti Diagram

in either of two optional ways

  Use this as a Quick Changeover tool for lean SMED setup reduction

to include or exclude external set-up time

  Entire suite of lean tools for process improvement

standard work, layouts, flow charts, work instructions, standard operating procedures...
everything needed to document, analyze & improve any type of process


New features for
Standardized Work Instructions

July 2014

January 2013

  1. multiple Job Breakdown sheets within the same workbook, or...
  2. a related Work Instructions workbook, or...
  3. Standard Operating Procedures, flowcharts, PowerPoints, training videos, or any other related documents
  1. draw the Layout Diagram directly on the same sheet with the Standard Work Instructions
    (and unlike your homemade template, the rows don't resize when you add wrapped text — so your drawing won't get distorted)
  2. or copy a picture of the drawing —
    maintained on its own sheet
    (which is a more professional workspace. And the image of the drawing can't possibly get distorted — and can be easily made larger when you need to see more details)

July 2011

October 2010

July 2010

July 2009

Quick Changeover Setup reduction. New features were added to make this Standard Work Sheet the perfect Lean SMED tool for quick change over set up reduction.


See what else is new


Standard Work Ribbon menu




Job Breakdown template


Standard Work Pix

Illustrate with pictures


Revision Log


standard work buttons
AutoDraw Standard Work Chart
with the push of a single button


Bookmark = ISO9000

What is ISO 9000?

ISO 9000 is a set of international standards for quality.

Organizations are certified and audited
to ensure that work is actually being done the way that it is documented.

Any of the types of Standard Work templates (at the top of this page)
can optionally be ISO 9000 templates —
as long as they are controlled according to ISO 9000 standards.

"Time waste differs from material waste in that there can be no salvage. The easiest of all wastes and the hardest to correct is the waste of time, because wasted time does not litter the floor like wasted material."

~ Henry Ford

Bookmark = Reading

Suggested Reading and Resources



More Suggested Reading


This Standard Work template comes with an entire suite of Lean tools
to give your people everything they need to improve your process
AND prevent backsliding into old habit patterns
so that you can (finally) start ratcheting your hard-earned gains




messy boys

Who needs standard work?





Download a dozen trial templates — including
this Standard Work form




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Template Benefits
  1. Save time and money not having to re-draw
    the chart for every
    little change
  2. Professional — what will your executives say when they see this?
  3. Written in Excel
    so your people
    already own and
    know how to use it
  4. Comes with other continuous process improvement tools providing even more value
You save hours..
  1. Doing Value Add Analysis
  2. Optimizing your processes to eliminate waste
  3. Balancing your Staff Loads
  4. Avoiding the need to
    re-draw charts by hand
  5. Avoiding the need to recalculate everything whenever anything changes
  6. Avoiding redundant entry of the same data that is traditionally
    re-entered into 4 different places — that this template combines into one convenient tool
  7. Providing your workers with clearly defined standard work instructions — to avoid miscommunications
    and quality errors












The Standard Work Template comes with all the others in the Lean Tools bundle


























Option to manually draw

Although you will usually want to use the auto-draw chart, there might be occasions where you want to manually draw a worksheet, in the exact same ways seen in Lean six sigma textbooks.

Systems2win provides a printed standard work sheet to make it easy to do that, too.






























Existing customers get these new features when they upgrade





Systems2win webinars

The most time-effective way
to get a quick orientation to your Systems2win templates is to
join a free live webinar