What is a One Point Lesson (OPL)?
- An POL is a short (5 to 10 minute) learning tool.
- The draft OPL should be written in 15 minutes or less by frontline workers or their supervisors.
- The OPL is comprehensive but not expansive; it is a lesson on a single topic/point, on one sheet of paper.
- It normally 80% graphical and 20% textual. This allows for quick understanding by operators.
When to use it?
• Whenever an important message must be communicated and understood.
What does it achieve?
An OPL is a standardization tool. Whenever something is done more than once, you risk defects by not performing the process the same every time. OPLs provide guidance to the experienced and inexperienced doing the work.
Managers and frontline workers, if utilizing OPLs, can easily isolate problems with processes should they occur since all products should have the same defect. Therefore, managers can adjust the OPL to check for positive effects. Since everyone is performing the procedure in an identical way, this means that problems are rapidly identified and eliminated.
- Ensure consistent production quality.
- Allow managers to more easily identify procedural or systemic problems.
- Permit workers to quickly learn new procedures.
- Capture corporate knowledge which is often learned by making mistakes while performing a function. It is vital to capture this kind of knowledge or else every successive generation of worker will suffer from making the same mistakes.
- Permit the numerical characterization of process.
- Cost can be mapped out.
- Time footprint can be assigned.
- Resource requirements can be mapped.