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Improvement Toolkit / One Point Lessons

One of the most effective ways to get a consistent message across quickly is via a One Point Lesson, (OPL). The process of creating an OPL can take longer than simply issuing a memo or sending an e-mail, but the results from the OPL will be considerably better and more sustainable.

Being no larger than a one page document; any OPL needs to take less than five minutes to communicate out. The OPL should be eye catching and draw your focus to the key points; 80% pictures and 20% words is a good measure to use. The OPL needs to be clear and to the point.

Convey the OPL message using 5W 1H:

  1. WHO are you aiming the message at?
  2. WHAT is the message you are trying communicate?
  3. WHERE the new instruction must be carried out?
  4. WHEN should the task be done?
  5. WHY is the new instruction necessary?
  6. HOW must the task be completed?

Include as much detail as possible but keep the document to one page. Using ticks and crosses to indicate expected standards helps to reduce the need for lengthy explanations and provides visual standards.

Post the OPL in the area of use, but also ensure the document is communicated out verbally to all involved parties. Those people who have received and been trained via OPL can then sign the reverse of the document thus creating a training register.

If you’re interested in One Point Lessons because you are on a Lean journey, you might be interested in a powerful problem solving tool – Problem Solving – that helps generate the right OPLs.

OPLS are also useful in developing an effective Reliable Maintenance system.

Download Our One Point Lesson Template Here



We are pleased with the progress we’re making at the Gweedore site, indeed we’re so pleased that we’re planning to roll out the programme to our other manufacturing sites.

John Donnelly, General Manager, Largo Foods, Ireland

What we’re doing is great. I’ve been wanting help like this for what seems ages, the structure for problem solving makes it easy for everyone to get involved.

Cell Technical Expert, Multi-Site Household Goods Company