All good companies, whether in manufacturing, finance, service centers or other have four things fundamental to their operational governance: 1) strategic alignment, 2) engagement, 3) teaching and learning, and 4) daily management.
Why daily management? Because operations don’t run themselves. For this reason, all companies should have a system of daily management. So, what is a daily management system?
3 Elements of a Daily Management System
A daily management system is a set of standard practices that keep improvement efforts on track and moving forward. It is often referred to as the missing link in Lean initiatives and the key to long-term sustainment. A daily management system is comprised of three elements, leadership routines, visual management, and accountability. Each of these three elements overlap, reflect and build off each other to keep leaders, at all levels, in touch with how things are going. How well are these three elements woven into the fabric of your operational governance policy?
Leadership routines (aka leadership standard work) provides a structure to help leaders communicate clear and unambiguous statements of expectation. Routines (like Gemba Walks) can be instrumental to teaching and reinforcing lean thinking and practices. What’s important to remember is that there are leaders at every level, so what’s being communicated is a bottom-up and top-down process. It’s this daily management rigor that drives a consistent PDCA routine and ensures resources are always focused on eliminating the most critical of the 7-wastes.
The second element is Visual Management. With good visual controls, everyone from process owners to presidents can see quickly how well things are going. Actual versus expected performance, upstream and downstream productivity, and any other metrics that help you understand where your business is at today. The form of your visuals is limited only by your imagination, i.e. quality boards, end of line boards, etc., the key is purpose and accessibility to all stakeholders.
An accountability process, the third element, is the daily management system driver. Absent of an accountability process, routines and visuals can be seen as ‘business as usual’. At routine accountability meetings, leaders make task assignments to enabled and capable resources to eliminate root cause. At the core of daily accountability is the focus on process: alignment, engagement, teaching and learning.
Productivity consulting services will work closely with you and your team to determine the most effective approach to the design and function of your daily management system. Let us help you improve those things that are the most important your business.