Accuracy Controlled Standard Operating Procedures Use the 3T’s – Target, Tolerance, Test – for Work Quality Assurance

Assure production and maintenance work quality with Accuracy Controlled Standard Operating Procedures containing 3T precision work instructions where work is done right-first-time, every time

An Accuracy Controlled Enterprise (ACE) is focused on getting things ‘right first time’. The quality focus in an ACE is about doing a job, every job, masterly, whether done on the shop floor or in the boardroom. That is achieved with accuracy controlled standard operating procedures in which every task is proven to be completed accurately before continuing to the next task. It is about being a master of what you do so you deliver world-class results in your work. You can read about being an ACE in the white paper The Accuracy Controlled Enterprise.

How to Develop Best Practice Maintenance Procedures

How to Make Standard Operating Procedures Work for You World class maintenance and production management give their people on the ‘shop floor’ the right knowledge to become the very best operators and maintainers they can be. It is the workforce who deliver the maintenance strategy to the plant and equipment. A great way to pass to plant and equipment operators and maintainers the skills and knowledge that give them the power to achieve world-class production performance is through using ACE 3T standard operating procedures (SOP) with test and check steps.

An ACE uses job procedures with 3T (Target – Tolerance – Test) task quality standards in their work procedures. The 3Ts specify a Target to hit, a range of acceptable Tolerance, and a proof Test to check the task was done right. 3T is a very simple statistical quality control technique imbedded into production and maintenance standard operating procedures (SOP) that get ‘right first time’ performance from people. You follow a structured format when doing ACE 3T SOP writing. When used in the workplace the 3T accuracy controlled standard operating procedures with task quality standards produces phenomenal task accuracy through its imbedded work quality assurance requirements. The 3Ts – Target, Tolerance, Test – work because they set task quality standards which keeps work within statistical control. You can see examples of the detailed work quality control standards put into an ACE 3T procedure in this Example ACE 3T Procedure with Work Quality Standards.

The concept of setting targets for people is common business practice, but it does not guarantee ‘right first time’ results. The 3T approach solves that problem by taking it further and setting performance boundaries, the statistical control limits, within which people must work. The work is only acceptable if the result is within the set tolerance. 3T is a simple concept that every employee understands and loves to use because they know that their work will be accurate, that it will be ‘right first time’ and they will produce a great job.

Put the 3T approach into every standard operating procedure to get certain quality assurance from the workforce. Developed over three decades of observation and experimentation it builds statistical quality control into the standard operating practices used throughout the organization. With 3T methodology in an SOP people know exactly what is acceptable from them, they know when their work is first class and they get it ‘right first time’ every time.

Conduct a Trial on Your Worst, Most Failure Prone Job Using Accuracy Controlled Standard Operating Procedures

The easiest way for you to see if the ACE 3T method of writing your standard operating procedures will improve your equipment reliability and performance is to test it on one of your items of plant and equipment. Take the worst, most unreliable equipment item and put a team together to write 3T procedures for its maintenance and its operation. Do the research to find the very best way to maintain its parts and to operate the equipment well. Write what you learn into the SOPs. We want the people on the shop floor to buy-in and become committed to the improved way of maintaining and operating the problem equipment. So get your maintainers and operators to include their knowledge and experience into the SOP and have them regularly review them as the standard operating procedures develop.

Finally, re-train your people to the 3T SOPs and explain each task in the procedures with drawings and diagrams. The aim is to get people to follow what is written in the ACE 3T SOP, because that is the ideal, most perfect way to look after and use the equipment to get its best performance and reliability. Ask people to agree to follow them and to test and refine each SOP as they are used. This is lets them build ‘ownership’ of the SOPs.

Run the trial for three months and see what improvements you get to the equipment performance and the degree of responsibility people develop for their SOP. Where ever possible, help and encourage the people to adopt and use the SOPs. If the trial is a success (and you should work hard to make it successful), you will have started to change your company towards becoming a world-class operation. Next roll-out the trial of accuracy controlled standard operating procedures to another poor performing piece of plant and get it working brilliantly as well.