Unlock Success with Standardization Guide

What is standardization?

Standardization is the process of establishing a set of guidelines, protocols, or procedures for completing a task or achieving a goal. It involves creating a uniform method that everyone within an organization or industry follows, ensuring consistency and quality.

Standardization can be applied to any aspect of a business, from product design and manufacturing to customer service and marketing.

In essence, standardization aims to streamline processes and reduce variability to make them more efficient and effective.

What are the 4types of standardization?

1. Product Standardization

This type of standardization focuses on ensuring that a product meets a certain set of criteria such as quality, size, color, or design.

For instance, a shoe manufacturer may have standard product specifications for every type of shoe they produce to ensure consistency across the board.

2. Process Standardization

Process standardization is the standardization of the procedures and steps that must be followed to complete a particular task or process.

For example, a manufacturing company may have a set of guidelines outlining how raw materials should be handled, how machines should be operated, and how finished goods should be inspected before being shipped to customers.

3. Service Standardization

This type of standardization involves standardizing the service delivery process. It aims to ensure that customers receive consistent service quality across all touchpoints.

Service standardization can include guidelines on customer service, employee conduct, and response times.

4. System Standardization

System standardization involves standardizing the way technology systems are designed, developed, and deployed. This ensures consistency in the way that data is processed, shared, and managed across the organization.

What are the 4 key elements of standardization work?

  1. Defining the process: Comprehending the process thoroughly to set a benchmark and pinpoint potential issues.
  2. Documenting the process: Constructing a comprehensive, step-by-step manual to provide guidance and maintain uniformity.
  3. Implementing the process: Communicating the process to personnel and possibly altering the work area to suit it.
  4. Monitoring the process: Constantly monitor the standardized process to optimize it and ensure it accomplishes its objectives.

Is standardization a good thing?

Standardization is a double-edged sword; it can have both pros and cons depending on the perspective. Some might argue that it is stifling innovation and creativity, resulting in a dull and foreseeable outcome. In contrast, others say that it is essential for ensuring quality, safety, and efficiency.

In business, standardization is generally thought to be critical to achieving success. Streamlining processes and procedures can enable a company to save costs, advance product growth and introduce it quicker to the market, and eliminate errors and differences for a better-quality output.

Although, standardization might not be the best way to go in all situations. Being too strict can limit an organization’s ability to conform to varying conditions. It may also kill imagination, preventing companies from producing innovative solutions.

What is a good standardization?

A good standardization is one that is well-defined, consistently implemented, and produces the desired outcome. It is a process that streamlines operations by establishing clear guidelines and procedures that are universally understood and applied.

Good Standardization examples:


The fast-food giant has a well-defined and highly efficient process for making its products. The standardized procedures ensure that the quality of the food remains consistent regardless of location or time.


Just like McDonald’s, Starbucks has perfected the art of standardizing its products and services across all locations. This means that no matter where you are in the world, you can always expect the same quality coffee and service from a Starbucks store.


As a pioneer in the field of lean manufacturing, Toyota has become a master of standardization in its production processes. By standardizing everything from tool usage to workflow, the company is able to minimize waste and maximize efficiency.


As a company that relies on efficient and reliable shipping, it’s no surprise that FedEx has embraced standardization in its operations. From delivery protocols to employee training, every aspect of the company’s work is designed to be consistent and reliable.

Advantages of standardization

  • Increases efficiency.
  • Reduces errors and variations.
  • Improves product quality.
  • Reduces costs.
  • Shortens product development and time to market cycles.

What is the problem of standardization?

Standardization is usually a positive for businesses but can also have drawbacks. Among them is hindering creativity and innovativeness since everyone is forced to stick to the same protocols, thus lowering employee morale and spurring stagnation.

Moreover, when standardizing, there is the danger of overlooking the different needs of customers, personnel, and situations. For success, organizations must harmoniously combine standardization and flexibility.

Disadvantages of standardization

  • Limits creativity and innovation
  • May not meet the needs of diverse markets.
  • Can lead to complacency and lack of flexibility.
  • May result in higher initial costs for implementation.
  • Can lead to a decrease in employee morale and job satisfaction.
  • Can create a cookie-cutter approach that doesn’t address unique problems or challenges.

What is opposite of standardization?

The opposite of standardization is customization or non-standardization. Customization involves tailoring products or services to individual needs or preferences, which means that each product or service is unique.

Non-standardization means that there are no fixed guidelines or procedures in place, and each product or service can be different from the next.

Standardization vs Standard

A standard is a specific guideline or criteria that have been established for a particular product, process, or service. A standard may also refer to a specific level of quality that must be met.

Example of standards:

  • ISO Standards: These are internationally recognized standards for quality management systems, environmental management systems, and information security management systems.
  • FDA Standards: These are standards developed by the Food and Drug Administration for ensuring the safety and effectiveness of food, drugs, and medical devices.
  • IEEE Standards: These are standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for the design, testing, and maintenance of electrical and electronic systems.

On the other hand, standardization is the process of creating and implementing standards. This process involves creating a uniform approach to the production or delivery of goods or services.

So, while a standard is a specific guideline, standardization is the broader process of creating and implementing those guidelines.

Why standardization is important?

First and foremost, it allows for consistent quality and performance.

By following a standard process, product, or service, you can ensure that the end result will always meet a certain level of expectation. This is crucial in industries like healthcare or manufacturing where errors can have serious consequences.

Standardization also increases efficiency and productivity.

By having a set process or system in place, you can eliminate unnecessary steps and reduce the likelihood of errors or confusion. This can lead to cost savings, increased output, and improved customer satisfaction.

Standardization facilitates communication and collaboration.

When everyone is on the same page and understands the standard practices or procedures, it becomes easier to work together toward a common goal. This can be especially important in large organizations where teams may be spread across different locations or departments.

How do you achieve standardization?

1. Identify the process: The first step to achieving standardization is identifying the process you want to standardize. It could be a production process, a marketing strategy, or a customer service procedure.

2. Define the standard: Once you have identified the process, define the standard that you want to achieve. This includes specifying the parameters that the process should adhere to.

3. Create a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): After defining the standard, create an SOP that documents the process step by step. This should be a detailed document that provides guidance to the employees.

4. Train the employees: Training the employees on the SOP is critical for ensuring that they understand the standard. This involves communicating the importance of the standard and the benefits that come with adhering to it.

5. Monitor and Measure: Once the SOP is implemented, monitor and measure the process to ensure that it is adhering to the standard. This will help to identify areas that need improvement.

6. Review and Improve: Finally, review the process periodically and make improvements where necessary. Continuous improvement is key to maintaining the standard and ensuring that it remains relevant over time.

What are limitations of standardization?

While there are many benefits to standardization, there are also limitations that need to be considered. Here are a few to keep in mind:

1. Lack of flexibility: Standardization can create rigidity in processes, making it difficult to adapt to changes or customize products or services to meet specific needs.

2. One size doesn’t fit all: Different regions, cultures, and industries may have unique requirements that can’t be addressed through standardization alone.

3. Resistance to change: Standardization may be met with resistance from employees who are used to doing things their own way, leading to low adoption rates and implementation challenges.

4. Over-reliance on standards: Over-emphasizing standards can stifle innovation and creative problem-solving, leading to a lack of agility in responding to new challenges and opportunities

If you still do not get the idea of standardization, then you should take heed of the joke famously attributed to Henry Ford, which goes, you can order any color Model T you want, as long as it is black.