Guide: One Point Lesson

In today’s work environment, the ability to quickly and effectively transfer knowledge is more critical than ever. Whether you’re in manufacturing, logistics, or any other field that relies on streamlined operations, training plays a vital role in achieving excellence. That’s where One Point Lessons (OPLs) come into play. As a focused, concise method of education, OPLs are designed to impart a single skill, concept, or procedure to your team in the most efficient way possible.

These easy-to-digest lessons not only save time but also enhance retention, enabling your workforce to apply what they’ve learned almost immediately. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through what One Point Lessons are, why they are beneficial, and how you can effectively create and implement them in your organization.

Table of Contents

What is a One Point Lesson (OPL)?

A One Point Lesson (OPL) is a specialized form of training document designed to convey essential information in a concise, easily digestible manner. Unlike traditional training programs or comprehensive manuals that might cover a broad range of topics, an OPL focuses exclusively on a single, crucial point. This single-point focus is what gives it its name and its power. The objective is to impart a skill, technique, or piece of knowledge that is immediately applicable.

Why “One Point”?

The “one point” in a One Point Lesson is a carefully chosen topic that often holds significant importance. It could be a safety procedure, a step in a manufacturing process, or even a best practice in customer service. By zeroing in on just one point, the OPL ensures that the learner isn’t overwhelmed with information, making it easier to remember and apply the learned skill or knowledge.

One Point Lesson Example-Document

Key Characteristics of a One-Point Lesson:

Single Focus:

An OPL concentrates on just one skill, task, or concept. This focus ensures that the learner’s attention isn’t divided, making it more likely that they will absorb and retain the information.

Visual Elements:

The use of visuals like diagrams, illustrations, or even photographs is highly recommended. Visual aids complement the text, making it easier to understand the material and reinforcing the learning process.


One of the standout features of an OPL is its brevity. The information is usually contained on a single sheet of paper or a single screen, making it easy to read and understand quickly.


The language used in an OPL is straightforward and devoid of jargon, unless the specific terminology is the subject being taught. The aim is to make the information easily comprehensible to anyone, irrespective of their prior knowledge or expertise in the subject.

Immediate Applicability:

An OPL is designed to be immediately useful. It should empower the learner to perform a task or understand a concept right away, without the need for further clarification or training.

The Anatomy of an Effective OPL

A well-designed OPL typically includes the following elements:

  • Title: Clearly states the focus of the lesson
  • Objective: Describes what the learner will accomplish by the end of the lesson
  • Procedure/Steps: Outlines the actions or considerations necessary to achieve the objective
  • Visual Aids: Diagrams, pictures, or illustrations that support the text
  • Summary/Key Takeaways: A brief recapitulation of the main point, serving as a quick reference for future use

By adhering to these characteristics and components, a One Point Lesson serves as a potent tool for rapid skill and knowledge transfer, contributing to both individual and organizational success.

Why Use One Point Lessons?

One Point Lessons (OPLs) have gained significant traction in various industries for several compelling reasons. Below, we explore these in more detail:

Efficiency: Rapid Skill and Knowledge Transfer

In today’s competitive business environment, organizations cannot afford to spend excessive time on long training programs that take employees away from their regular tasks. One Point Lessons cut to the chase by focusing solely on the essential information needed for a specific task or concept. This concise approach allows for quick dissemination of information, thus saving both time and resources.

  • Example: Instead of going through a 30-page manual to understand the safety protocol of a machine, an operator could refer to a one-page OPL that highlights the critical steps to ensure safety.

Retention: Enhancing Memory and Application

The human brain is generally better at remembering information when it is focused and not overloaded. By zeroing in on a single key point, OPLs make it easier for individuals to commit this information to memory. This not only enhances retention but also facilitates immediate application, which in turn reinforces the learning.

  • Example: A short OPL on “How to Respond to a Customer Complaint” would be easier to remember than a multi-chapter customer service manual.

Flexibility: Broad Applicability Across Topics

One of the most significant advantages of OPLs is their flexibility. They can be customized for a wide array of topics and can be easily adapted to suit different learning needs. Whether it’s a step-by-step guide on operating new software, a quick lesson on quality control, or a rundown of emergency evacuation procedures, the format remains efficient and effective.

  • Example: In a healthcare setting, OPLs could range from proper handwashing techniques to operating complex medical equipment.

Standardization: Ensuring Consistency and Quality

One of the foundational principles of continuous improvement is standardization. OPLs serve as a tool for standardizing various tasks and processes within an organization. This standardization ensures that all employees are on the same page, which in turn minimizes errors and enhances the quality of work.

  • Example: In a manufacturing setting, OPLs could be used to standardize the process of quality checks, ensuring that every employee follows the same set of guidelines.

How to Create a One Point Lesson (OPL): A Detailed Guide

Creating a One Point Lesson is not just about compiling information; it’s about presenting that information in a manner that is easily consumable and immediately actionable. Below are the detailed steps to guide you through the process of creating an effective OPL.

Step 1: Identify the Need

The first step is to pinpoint the specific skill, task, or concept that your team needs to understand. This focus will drive the rest of the OPL. The need could arise from:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Observing common mistakes or inefficiencies
  • Introduction of new equipment or procedures


  • Consult team members or supervisors for insights on what areas require clarification or training.
  • Keep the focus narrow; the lesson should cover only one specific point for maximum impact.

Step 2: Gather Information

Once the need is identified, the next step is to gather all the information that will help you explain this particular point effectively. This could include:

  • Textual descriptions
  • Step-by-step procedures
  • Visual aids like diagrams or photographs
  • Any safety or quality guidelines that should be followed


  • Use credible sources for information.
  • Make sure the data aligns with any standard operating procedures or guidelines your organization has in place.

Step 3: Create the Document

You can use a simple design tool, a PowerPoint slide, or even a piece of paper to design your OPL. The format isn’t as important as the clarity and quality of the information.

Example Layout:

  • Title: Clearly describe the focus of the lesson
  • Objective: State what the learner will achieve by the end
  • Steps: List the procedures or guidelines to follow
  • Visuals: Include any diagrams, pictures, etc.
  • Summary: Conclude with key takeaways


  • Use bullet points for easier readability.
  • Ensure visual aids are clear and directly related to the text.

Step 4: Test the Lesson

Before rolling it out, test the OPL with a small group of people who represent the target audience. Request feedback on:

  • Clarity
  • Length
  • Usefulness
  • Any areas of confusion


  • Make adjustments based on the feedback.
  • If possible, observe how easily the skill or task can be performed after reviewing the OPL.

Step 5: Implement and Review

After refining the OPL based on the feedback, it’s time to implement it. Make it accessible to all relevant team members and ensure it’s placed near the relevant workstation or area if applicable.

Tips for Successful Implementation:

  • Location: The OPL should be easily accessible, ideally near the relevant workstation or area.
  • Training: Brief team members on how to use and interpret the OPL.
  • Review: Regularly review and update the OPL to ensure it stays current and effective.


In summary, One Point Lessons serve as an indispensable tool in the realm of continuous improvement and employee training. With their single-point focus, visual aids, and concise format, OPLs offer an efficient yet effective way to disseminate critical information to your team. They play an essential role in standardizing procedures, reducing errors, and elevating the quality of work across the board. As we’ve seen, creating an OPL doesn’t require extensive effort but does necessitate a thoughtful approach to content and design.

By adopting One Point Lessons in your training arsenal, you’re not just investing in a piece of paper; you’re investing in the sustained growth and development of your team and, by extension, your organization. Whether you’re new to the concept or looking to refine your existing OPLs, this guide serves as a foundational resource to help you achieve your operational and educational goals.


A: The ideal length of a One Point Lesson is usually one single page. The aim is to keep the information concise and focused on one specific point, task, or concept. It should be detailed enough to impart the necessary knowledge but short enough to be quickly digestible.

A: While One Point Lessons are highly effective for quick and targeted training, they are not designed to replace comprehensive training programs. They serve as a supplement, offering immediate guidance or clarification on specific tasks or concepts. Traditional training programs often provide a broader context and deeper understanding, which is also essential.

A: The frequency of review largely depends on the nature of the information and how often changes occur in that area. However, it’s a good practice to review OPLs at least annually or whenever there’s a significant change in procedures, equipment, or regulations.

A: While not strictly necessary, visual aids like diagrams, pictures, or illustrations are highly recommended. Visuals complement the text and make it easier for the learner to understand the material. They are particularly helpful in explaining complex processes or equipment.

A: Ideally, subject matter experts or experienced personnel should create One Point Lessons. However, it’s also beneficial to involve frontline employees in the process, as they bring practical insights and may have a better understanding of what information is most needed. Collaboration between experts and frontline staff often yields the most effective OPLs.


Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft is a seasoned continuous improvement manager with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. With over 10 years of real-world application experience across diverse sectors, Daniel has a passion for optimizing processes and fostering a culture of efficiency. He's not just a practitioner but also an avid learner, constantly seeking to expand his knowledge. Outside of his professional life, Daniel has a keen Investing, statistics and knowledge-sharing, which led him to create the website, a platform dedicated to Lean Six Sigma and process improvement insights.

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