Standards Rich Environment

World class organizations create a standards rich environment that quickly identifies problems solved by people in the moment with a pre-specified problem solving process that is focused on continuously eliminating waste.  A standards rich environment is an environment that sets the expectation not only for work content of the operators, but also the safety, quality, workspace, and behaviors.


A standards rich environment for safety clearly defines the proper personal protective equipment needed in all situations. It may, and probably should change between processes.  The entire plant floor may require hearing protection, but the welding area also requires face shields and special gloves.  The standards rich environment documents these expectations clearly so when someone is not using the proper PPE in an area the problem is obvious.


A standards rich environment for quality clearly defines the customers quality expectation.  This may be in the form of a physical part to compare to the produced part.  The expectation for quality may extend to the process itself, with key process variables being clearly defined and tracked. This standards rich environment tracks those variables to quickly identify trends that may require a reaction plan to return to normal variation. Problems are quickly identified with a pre-specified method to solve.

Work Space

A standards rich environment defines the expectation for a workspace. Not only the location of the necessary tools, but where the parts are processed for each step.  The expected cleanliness at the end of the shift.  The distance operators must remain from equipment or in extenuating circumstances from each other.  The work space expectation may also take in to consideration the condition of the equipment. Making problems like oil leaks or gauges that show low pressure obvious to the operator running the equipment.


A standards rich environment clear establishes and often documents expected behaviors for the plant. Showing up to meetings on time, clocking in and out of the building, reporting problems, recording data, are all behaviors that a standard rich environment does not leave to discretion but clearly defines.

Having these clearly defined standards or expectations builds into a culture of identifying and solving problems.

Help your organization become a standards rich environment with clear expectations for safety, quality, work space, and behavior.




Brian Kurtyka

Brian Kurtyka

Brian Kurtyka

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