Poka Yoke for Standard Operating Process idea

Hello ASQers,

I'm wondering if you have already experimented a lot of non respect of SOP? If yes, I'm wondering what did you do?

We though that we have to put in place a Poka Yoke system and ensure that it will be respected. Could you share your experience?

Looking forward to reading from you.



7 Replies
Meta Brown
14 Posts

Nonrespect is not the biggest issue I've encountered. I find that in many cases, there is no formal procedure, or that staff is not aware of the existence of a procedure, or the procedure is just not good - it's poorly written, or out of date, or has some other issue that makes it difficult or even inadvisable to use.

If you have a procedure, and it's not being followed, I'd want to investigate the reasons.

  • Is staff aware of the procedure?
  • Have the proper people verified that the procedure is appropriate for the task and the work environment?
  • Does staff understand the procedure? Has there been training to explain the reasoning behind it?
  • Are the required resources available - tools, safety equipment and so on?
  • Has there been any feedback? Are staff expressing concerns about problems following the procedure?

The better you can understand why people are not following procedure, the better equipped you'll be to improve the situation.

Hi, @Nanjarivelo Misa Nicolas Ralainarivo

I've definitely experienced inefficient execution and avoidable errors from SOPs not being followed. As Meta Brown said, there can be many reasons for lack of SOP compliance. In my case, I diagnosed the issue as the standard operating procedures simply seeming superfluous to staff in the midst of carrying out their responsibilities such that the SOPs sat unread on our intranet. This insight inspired me to create TaskTrain, a simple process management application that integrates standard operating procedures into everyday workflow. While there are much more effective ways of mistake-proofing particular procedures, these methods rely on the specifics of the steps to be carried out, while a checklist-based tool like TaskTrain, though still not appropriate for all situations, has much more general applicability. I'm happy to chat about your use case if it would be helpful.

Hello Meta Brown,

Thank you, I love the idea. May be I have to schedule a special session and identify the potential root causes with a team and develop the preventive solutions. Or, just do a brainstorming.

Really appreciate.



Hello Keith Gillette,

Thank you for your answer and recommendation. I explored your website and it seems really interesting. However, I have to discuss internally first.

I hope for your understanding,



Norm Howe
56 Posts

Hi Misa,

Poka Yoke is high on my list of remedies for specific re-occurring errors. However, if the problem is systematic noncompliance, then a more general solution is needed. You might want to take a look at my recent article in Quality Management Forum: “Building a Strong Quality Culture”.

Dear Norm, Misa, Meta, Keith and ….Esteemed Contributors,

Good Day.

My 2 cents for the robust Poka-Yoke implementation.

Layered Process Audits (LPA) is an excellent technique for strengthening process control and reducing COQ.

I had the opportunity in initiating LPA starting in 1997 at a General Motors subsidiary Delphi Automotive Systems, as the leader of the Quality Engineering process.

This was a Greenfield project hence we used LPA interfaced with Process Flow Diagrams, PFMEA’s, and Control Plans. A Plan-Do-Check-Act plan was drawn.

I have initiated and used LPA at many plants thereafter including checks and balances on the effectiveness of Poke Yoke's functionality; high-tech gages and transducers working with go-no-go masters.

LPA has a big payoff in terms of waste reduction, safety, 5S, Poka-Yoke verification, PPM, and improved COQ.

Poka-Yoke implementation, and overall the ROI on LPA is excellent.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2022 to you and your family.

Best Regards,
Girish Trehan

QMS Lead Auditor-independent contractor

Adjunct Professor, LSS and Quality

ASQ Chair-Elect Customer-Supplier Division

Thank you for your advise Girish Trehan.

Indeed, It's will help and you teached me something new.

Merry Christmas and Happy new year to you and your family too.


Misa Ralainarivo