The Streamlined Business Blog

How smart do you have to be to assemble an IKEA shelf?

So you just bought a shelving set at IKEA and go home to set it up. You crack open the box and the instructions. Can you put together without a degree in Engineering? The IKEA assembly problem is so common it’s gotten to be a joke!

Chances are you can muddle through the instructions until about page 10, and then you just give up and try to piece it together. So you end up frustrated, with a few extra parts, and with a shelf that leans to the left a good 20 degrees.

Don’t get us wrong, we love Ikea, but we would probably love them a little more, buy from them a little more, heck even pay a little more to not spend 3 hours trying to follow their directions to build a $50 shelf.Image from IKEA instructions

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) should be clear, easy to follow and to the point. People need to focus on the task at hand and not trying to figure out what on earth you are trying to say in step 6. SOPs should also be concise.   The image of what appears to be a baby in a gas-mask climbing a shelf in Step 17 of the IKEA instructions might be there for comic relief , but most people won’t ever see it any way. Because really, who wants to read a 23 page document on how to assemble a shelf?

Clear, easy to use SOPs are even more important in the work place than in the living room!

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