Dance 411 Studios: Proof that Being Lean Isn’t Just for Large or Japanese Companies

#4. Siketsu (Standardize)

What it Means
“Find out what works and do more of that”.

That is, learn quickly from successes and failures, document how the successes are achieved and create systems and processes that support continuous successes. This is a major area where small businesses have an advantage over larger companies. Their smaller size and circular communication structure (as opposed to the pyramidal, bureaucratic structure of big companies) allows them to identify, respond to and mitigate challenges swiftly, oftentimes with minimal effort compared to their larger corporate counterparts.

Siketsu is the practice of standardizing work to produce consistent results no matter who is performing a task. One of the most effective ways to standardize work is by creating tools such as Operations Manuals (how to do the work) and Employee Manuals (company policies and procedures).

How Dance 411 Studios Applies It
DFS considered the possibility that the success of their newly streamlined and organized facility might be a fleeting moment if they did not create certain tools to standardize these results. Through a commitment to continuous improvement and trial and error, DFS took note of those administrative and operational activities that seemed to work well and benefit their instructors, students and members.

Some of their lean or efficient work standardization initiatives include: a digital records management system, equipment and asset management system and an automated, paperless process for class registration, sign-in, waiver release and payment. Watch the video below as DFS co-owner, Sindy Schneider, explains how this paperless process works.

Go to the last page to find out how DFS is able to sustain the results of their 5S program.


  • Professional, polished business image. DFS has standard processes that communicate “this is how we do this”. By creating processes that are simple, easy to learn and replicable, DFS has earned a reputation for professionalism which keeps them in high demand not only amongst dancers and students, but also in the entertainment industry at large.
  • Predictable customer experience. Having processes that integrate tried and tested smart technologies increase the likelihood that a customer will have a predictable experience. Each time someone has a positive interaction with DFS they are more likely to continue doing business with them and referring others to do so as well.
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