Video Podcast #17 – Lean Blog Q&A: Standardized Work


Not long ago, I asked readers for questions that could be addressed in audio or video podcasts.

I received this question that I'm addressing in this video:

“If we have developed a Lean process, but people aren't following it, what can we do to get participation/compliance?”

My video:

How would you answer my reader's question? What are your thoughts about my response? You can leave a comment on this post or you can post a video response of your own by clicking on the comments box on the YouTube page for my video and then click on the link for “Create a video response.”

Jamie Flinchbaugh said he will post a video response. Kevin Meyer, from Evolving Excellence, has sent an audio response that I will be combining, along with other “Lean Daily” responders into an audio podcast episode.

You can also be notified of new videos by subscribing to Mark's channel on YouTube.

Your host is Mark Graban, author of the book “Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement” and the founder of

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. Spot on Mark…who is this ‘we’? Remembering that there are two elements of Lean-waste reduction and respect.

    Somehow that second one gets lost in the shuffle. Respect for the work, respect for the worker, respect for the customer and respect for the process. If a Lean process was developed in any element of a vacuum, you have disrespected the foundations of Lean.

    If ‘we’ developed a Lean process, ‘we’ missed something. Perhaps we didn’t ‘go-watch-listen’ well, perhaps we didn’t include all of the stakeholders well, perhaps we didn’t consider the upstream/downstream implications well, perhaps we didn’t communicate the results well, perhaps we missed a Lean step (or more) in in the process.

  2.  I was the person who posed the original question.  Mark, you brought up a lot of good points in your response.  I should have been more specific when I asked the question, because I had a different scenario in mind.  Actually, the situations I was thinking of are ones in which the workers who would be using the  process, not management or someone else,  developed it. There was buy-in for the new process, but some participants don’t follow it. They create inconistency and more inefficiency instead.

  3. Chuck – I think the same general question applies: why is an individual not following the new process? Can you talk with people and understand their concerns or disagreement? That’s a more productive path than forcing “compliance.”


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