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one point lessons

One Point Lessons for Better Frontline Training [Includes Template]

[TEMPLATE] One Point Lesson on the shop floor can drastically improve your frontline training. Learn how to make the best OPLs with these best practices.

2 minutes read
Published on 24 March 2020 Updated on 23 May 2024

What is a One Point Lesson (OPL)?

  • Visual training aids that show the correct way to complete a task. 
  • OPLs often include an example of what the end state should NOT look like.
  • Reinforce key skills for frontline training.
  • Address particular problems and bottlenecks in production. 
  • Quickly teach a task and transfer it between team members.
  • A complete process can consist of a couple OPLs. 

Traditionally, One Point Lessons have been visualized on paper and distributed or displayed from a centralized location such as a whiteboard or a Team Corner. The downsides of physical OPLs is that they're difficult to scale, data capturing is difficult, and it's hard to implement improvement ideas.

Here's the setup of a typical OPL: One point lesson template


Who creates OPLs?

Ideally, OPLs are created by subject matter experts who have significant experience with the process in question. This can be done in pairs (eg. one expert and one junior associate that can create the OPL together). Before the one point lesson is published and shared across teams, lines, and sites, it should ideally be reviewed and approved by another set of eyes. 


Why do we need OPLs?

  1. Teach or reinforce processes in detail.
  2. Deliver clear how-to knowledge for teams working on a production line.
  3. Increase productivity and reduce errors. 


What does a great OPL look like?


1. Simple.

OPLs should cover the smallest portion of work possible, and should be limited to one lesson per step (hence the name). 

2. Visual.

Humans are visual learners, and One Point Lessons on the shop floor are no exception. The best digital work instruction platforms are highly visual and minimalistic by design. This means that they’re ideal for presenting the detailed and action oriented images (and just the right amount of text) to teach your teams effectively on mobile devices.

3. Accessible.

By design, OPLs need to be visible and centrally located. Physical OPLs require teams to take the time to move to this location and examine the lesson before returning to their work, which causes "walking waste". 

4. Data-driven.

Want to take the guesswork out of finding your pain points and bottlenecks? Want to know exactly where a One Point Lesson would be particularly beneficial? Pinpoint problem areas in your OPLs with real time data on usage, completion rates, and 

5. Always better. 

With input from team mates (and even better - peers from other lines an sites performing similar procedures) you can continuously improve your existing OPLs and make sure that they're always accurate and up-to-date. 

... 6. Digital. 

When OPLs are digital, they come with some clear advantages over paper- or whiteboard based one point lessons:

  • Scalability: share best practices across teams, lines, and sites. 
  • Analytics: capture and analyze data to identify bottlenecks faster. 
  • Continuously improve: gather improvement ideas from team members. 


Example of 4 OPL checklists under the "cleaning" topic in a CILT procedure. These OPLs are viewed on smartphone screen and created in SwipeGuide.digital one point lesson example

Want to learn more? 

👉 How Digital Work Instructions Can Help you Implement Kaizen.
👉 TWI for the 21st Century: Digital On-the-Job Training
👉 What is a Standard Operating Procedure?
👉 Smooth frontline training programs.

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