Why standardisation leads to efficiency loss.

Obviously, standardisation does not always lead to loss of efficiency. But sometimes it does. The standardisation police are people too (although some of us would hate to admit it) which means they make human mistakes. They see how standardisation of certain processes, like production processes and workflows, works in certain areas. And then they take matters a bit too far. And they try to standardise everything. How you do your work, when and where you do it, how you dress, when you eat, what you eat. The outcome doesn’t matter that much as long as you followed the procedure. And standardisation becomes the end, not the means.

Don’t run, we are your friendsImage
We standardise things to make them easier. so we have to think about stuff less. And so we can work together with others more efficiently. It should reduce hassle. But when you have to force people into a certain way of doing things, then this is no longer true. People tend to do things they way they feel comfortable, most of the times this is the most efficient way for them. Force them to do things the same way ‘everyone else’ is forced to do it, they start doing stuff twice. Their way, and the standard way. But now they do both poorly.

If you are not exactly like us, you are against us
Science says: Some people work more effectively in he morning, others in the evening. Standardisation says: everyone get in before nine AM and be productive. Science says, some people work in a steady, easy productive pase, others perform in peaks. standardisation says: we make the same planning and time schedules for the same projects, not for people. Science says: depending on your personality you may be good at planning, creating, managing or perform a different role. Standardisation says; everyone does their work in the exact same way. Science and standardisation don’t always agree. Unfortunately, if your manager like standardisation, science can go take a hike.

So, in the end, you have to hit that certain point of sweetness when everything come together. The exact right amount of standardisation so no one has to worry about all that annoying time-consuming stuff anymore. And everyone can focus on what she/he is really good at. In a way where they can excel at their job. But if you want to convince your standardising manager about this, don’t use the word ‘sweetness’.


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