Real Lean Blogs

Why are Lab SOPs and Work Instruction so Bad?

Published by Karen Wrafter in Lean Laboratory on May 11, 2010

Typically, laboratory Standard Operating Procedures and Work Instructions are wordy, patch-worked documents and a hindrance to testing analysts and reviewers alike. Over their life cycle, procedures usually become increasingly difficult to decipher due to multiple disjointed revisions. As a result, training and routine testing often relies on the retained knowledge of key experienced personnel, with an accepted culture of ‘Chinese whispers’. This dependence on undocumented hints and reminders can be tackled by applying Lean thinking to the design and layout of Laboratory SOP’s.

Small dedicated work groups: (A misapplication of the value stream concept)

Published by Tadgh Prendeville in Lean Laboratory on May 11, 2010

Recently in laboratories, there has been a notable shift towards dedicating resources to specific work streams and sub-streams, in the attempt to improve service levels. This is due in large part to a misapplication of the key Lean principle of developing ‘Value Streams’.