Jasmeet Kohli

Friday 3 August 2018

Has Innovation been compromised for Standardization?

Every company in modern times strives to have standardization in its processes. In a Lean Organization, Lean implementation generally starts with 5S implementation. The 5S in English being Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize & Sustain.
Theoretically, 5S is a repetitive cycle where new improved methods are found & implemented & improvements found are sustained in the process, thus completing the cycle. The same improved methods sometime later on become as routine working methods & are challenged with new working methods & are adopted once the newer methods show improvements & are thus accepted as new standards, And this cycle goes on & on.
But human tendency is afraid of change. Many organizations starting Lean implementation devise or find new improved work methods which are very enthusiastically adopted as new standards. But after sometime when the new methods become routine, if anyone tries to challenge the status quo & proposes or wants to implement new methods or a new innovation promising improvement, the same person or process is treated with disdain or outright hostility. The most common excuse given is that "We are already working with improved methods & they have been converted into standards". Notwithstanding the fact that standards are temporary & improvement is permanent. Hence, this gives rise to a very fundamental question - "Has Innovation been compromised for Standardization?"

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