A One Point Lesson (OPL) is a visualized work instruction, printed on a single A4 size sheet. The OPL solves a problem or improves a working method in a process or at a machine.
Using an OPL the action described can be taught quickly, from one person to the other. A complete process can, therefore, have multiple OPLs. For example, an OPL can be made
for a hand-operated tool to perform a certain task.
Operators or team leaders can write an OPL to effectively communicate the how-to of the task among their team and peers. The OPL is clear, simple, and easily understandable
for everyone. The OPL is designed by one user, who then conveys the lesson to his team. OPLs should be placed where it is accessible by most of the team members and operators.
Teams must be encouraged to check it before starting to work on a new thing.
Figure: Comparison of One Point Lesson and Standard Operating Procedure
Types of OPL
There are three main types of OPL:
Information OPL: Shares essential basic information that is required to effectively perform an operation. For example, how to clean an area, how to change the setup, change filters, lubricate, etc.
Problem OPL: Teaches how to prevent the recurrence of a problem that particular equipment may be having.
Improvement OPL: Describes a method or approach for a better way of working usually developed out of a case study, Kaizen, etc.
Consider the following aspects when you are creating OPLs:
An OPL should not exceed one-page representation. If there is too much content, then consider breaking it up into multiple OPLs or consider replacing with an SOP. If the OPL is too long, it loses its effectiveness as no one will go through them.
An OPL should be simple to understand. Use chronological order and lots of images and people tend to understand better with pictures rather than words. You could use charts, graphs, maps, or diagrams. You may want to ask an outsider to proofread the OPL and check for readability and understanding.
Finally, make sure that the OPL is located at or near the place the work is performed. If the OPL is located in an obscure location or hidden from easy access, then it will not be usable, and people will forget to refer to them in times of need.
Where to use OPL
Here are some typical places where we would expect to find widespread use of OPL
Equipment and maintenance
Any kind of procedures
Communicating any sequence of tasks to be performed
Organizations should encourage employees to use OPL within their teams as there are several benefits to using them:
Promotes adherence to standards.
Helps in quick knowledge transfer.
Helps in troubleshooting.
Useful for frontline workers when they perform the task.
Results in the improvement of activities.
You can use any standard template for creating the OPL. An OPL typically will have do’s and don’ts with visuals. Here is a simple OPL created using the Sigma Magic software. There are no specific
outputs to interpret on the OPL sheet. You have to print out the OPL sheet and place it in a central location and use it for knowledge transfer wherever required.
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