What is a standard?
A specific statement of the qualities required to achieve satisfaction in performance of work, or in behavior.
What does a standard do?
A standard provides a basis for objective comparison of actual performance to standard/what’s desired. It is the acceptable performance level quantified in an understandable way.
A standard serves as immediate focal point for investment of skill and effort in behaving and doing work. I focus my energy and effort in the direction stated in the standard.
A standard acts as a medium of communication among people in reaching agreement on a group approach to work. With the standard the discussion can be about performance as compared to the standard, not as I “think it should be”.
What purpose do standards serve?
They bring an increasingly higher order to work/life situations, while expanding the free space within which each person is able to operate. This little bit of order provides the boundaries, the structure for mature people to work within; all without the restriction of rules and conditions. Allowing individuals to be self-guiding results in greater positive expression and effort; that is, more work and therefore, productivity and profitability.
What results can standards produce?
− A description of the consistent, logical and defensible levels of performance which is required to achieve goals and objectives, meet expectations, and effectively pursue continuous improvement.
− An increase in motivation in people to steadfastly pursue a path of perfecting self, skills, knowledge and products.
− A means for intelligent decisions regarding what improvements to invest in, and then what measures of return to focus on.