As a follow-up to our 2nd article in the "Leading Problem Solving in Non-Manufacturing Series" that described the acronym "TIM WOODS" as it applies to non-manufacturing environments, this 3rd article in the series will explain how you can teach your eyes to see these waste form in non-manufacturing areas and then how to engage your team in problem solving.

 

An important skill for leaders is to learn to “see”.  This means seeing beyond what most people see, or at least a different perspective of the same image.  Teaching your eyes to see is a learned skill, that once mastered, opens your eyes to many new things.

 

So how do you learn to see?  Practice.

 

The first step is to Go to the area in which work is performed and go with a specific purpose to learn to see.  For example, go with a focus to see one specific type of waste from the TIM WOODS definitions as summarized below.  For more examples of each type of waste in non-manufacturing areas, you may want to review the previous article here.

So what do you do if the work is done on a computer?  Go to computer and observe what is done, how it is done, the steps involved, information required, etc.  You can learn a great deal from observing any type of work.  Observing someone doing data entry or programming, can be enlightening to see, what they experience.  It could be glare from overhead lighting or sunshine, large numerical entries prone to errors, system delays while background analysis takes place, excessive clicks to complete a desired task, etc. 

 

The next point is to dedicate an appropriate amount of time to see a very specific focus.  I'd recommend no less than 30 minutes, and more appropriately 60 minutes depending on the area you are reviewing and the people being engaged.  However, it's less about the size of the office area, and more about giving enough time to really see and observe the various forms of waste.  Sometimes, depending on the type of waste, you need to observe for a longer period of time before the waste actually takes place.  For example, to see wasteful "transportation" or employees walking around looking for information they need to do their job, likely only occurs periodically.  Unless you are just lucky enough to be there at the right time, you will miss this type of waste unless you observe long enough.

 

Look for that specific focus that you determined and only that focus.  Resist the temptation to "wander" or make a "laundry" list of everything you see.  When you see the specific focus items, ask yourself as many questions as you can about that particular item.  See beyond the obvious.  Look for deeper meaning, symptoms, evidence, or abnormalities.  Ask "why" many times to understand what is really happening.

 

Although efficiencies and personal productivity can be improved by engaging in TIM WOODS in non-manufacturing areas, I'd suggest it's less about that, and more about reducing employee frustrations and distractions.  Employees will become more engaged, energized, and happier!  Of course, if your employees are engaged, energized and happier, they will be more able to focus on their work tasks resulting in improved efficiencies and personal productivity.

 

This type of activity is something you can practice on your own, together with your team, or engage your team to increase engagement, awareness, and sustainment long term. 

 

Often leaders in non-manufacturing areas struggle with what to put on their Leader Standard Work (LSW).  This is a great one to add - "Conduct TIM WOODS audit"!  Whether it be weekly, monthly or otherwise, adding to your LSW and integrating it with your calendar by reserving time in your calendar makes for very effective leadership.

 

Team engagement can be done by establishing an audit type system (similar to a layered process audit) where the TIM WOODS focus areas and office locations are pre-determined and an audit frequency and responsibility schedule/matrix is made up.  In doing so, each team member will be have the responsibility to conduct a TIM WOODS audit on a specific focus area, in a specific location, at a scheduled interval.

 

When repeated often and with a new or different focus you will soon see these forms of waste naturally and without effort.  Once you learn to see, you won’t be able to turn it off.

 

The next step is to engage your team in problem solving to resolve the cause of these wastes by implementing a "Problem Solving Auction" which includes the following key points:

 

  • Prioritize and select a limited number of top items, recommend 6 or less open at any given time.
  • "Auction" off ownership of action and agree upon completion dates.
  • Document and distribute the action plans as detailed above, make visual physically or virtually.
  • Problem solve after the auction, not during.
  • Follow-up, close out actions, recognize successes, repeat.

 

To get you started, you can download our TIM WOODS audit sheet from our Tools page.

 

In the next article in this series we will discuss "Looking for evidence through gemba" in non-manufacturing areas.

 

If you missed the previous articles in the series, 'Leading Problem Solving in Non-Manufacturing Series", you can find them here:

 

 

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In this second article in the Leading Problem Solving in Non-Manufacturing Series, we'll discuss the application of TIM WOODS in non-manufacturing areas.

 

No matter what our team does or is responsible for, we all have an ultimate customer.  They may not be the traditional customer but rather other internal departments or company stakeholders.  So whether in manufacturing or non-manufacturing, it's important to first consider how our customer defines value.  At HPL, we believe all customers, internal or external, value the following when it comes to the product or service they are expecting of us:

 

  • they want it NOW
  • they want it Perfect
  • they want it Waste Free
  • and they want an Exceptional Experience

 

Therefore anything that detracts from these 4 values or attributes can be looked upon as a waste and is certainly undesirable.  As leaders then, our role is to engage our teams in identifying and waging war against anything that negatively impacts our abilities to meet and exceed our customer expectations.  This then is a starting point for a form of problem solving for all leaders and their teams.  In order to identify these wastes or problems, we need to "teach our eyes to see" the various forms of waste.  That's where the acronym TIM WOODS comes into play, whether in manufacturing or non-manufacturing.

 

 

Let's address a myth that TIM WOODS is not applicable to non-manufacturing by taking a look at just a few examples of the 8 forms of waste in non-manufacturing environments.

 

Transportation - excessive movement of people, information, or materials.

In non-manufacturing areas there are typically huge opportunities to reduce "transportation" wastes.  Examples could be associated with numerous or multi-level approvals requiring multiple emails to different people, multiple in-person reviews/presentations obtaining multi-level or departmental approvals,  and transferring files, data, reports between people or departments.  Walking to conference rooms or from building to building to attend meetings.

 

Inventory - excessive storage and delay of information or products.

It's important here to consider inventory as more than just raw materials or finished goods, and think about excessive storage of information of physical or electronic in nature.  Examples of inventory of this nature could be excessive filing cabinets with years of no longer necessary documents, inbox with hundreds or thousands of unread/unresponded emails (yes you!), having to maintain multiple copies or versions of electronic documents in multiple locations, or issuing the same data in various formats.

 

Motion - any motion that does not add value to the product or process. 

Many of the examples of waste described above, also result in creating unnecessary or unproductive motion, such as walking around the office to find necessary information, obtaining clarification for tasks, locating shared tools or equipment are some common examples.  It could also be motion from poorly laid out office spaces or even having to make too many 'clicks' on a webpage to get the necessary information for the task at hand or multi-level file directories to open a file.

 

Waiting - long periods of inactivity for people, information, machinery, or materials.

This form of waste is definitely applicable to non-manufacturing and is commonly experienced in "waiting" for approvals, responses, or information from others.  What should be a quick approval can often take days if not weeks to receive.  This waiting could be a result of a poor process, lower priority to the requesting person, missing necessary information, poor organizational skills, people on vacation or out of the office etc.  Waiting slows things down, decreases efficiency, and increases the opportunity for errors and omissions.

 

Over Production - producing more/sooner than the internal or external customer needs.

Over production in non-manufacturing includes things such as creating reports that are not used, the tracking and collection of data that is no longer analyzed or used for any purpose, printing more documents than are distributed at a meeting, or lengthy emails or presentations that provide unnecessary information and don't really add value.

 

Over Processing - using the wrong set of tools, procedures or systems.

Similar to 'waiting', over processing is all too common in non-manufacturing.  Over processing shows up in the form of large distribution lists which include many unnecessary people, unnecessarily being added to the 'cc' line of an email, abuse of the 'reply all' feature, or unnecessary or lengthy meetings.  Also having team members with high or advanced skills doing routine work or tasks is also over processing.

 

Defects - frequent errors in paperwork or product quality problems.

Often passed off as  normal "human error" in non-manufacturing, there are many defects created.  These can include data entry errors within systems when manually entered, software coding errors, missing information, none functional links, missing attachments, incorrect tolerences or dimensional errors within designes.

 

Skill - lack of training, application, development, engagement.

Beyond the necessary skills required to perform any type of task, areas can also include on-boarding of new hires as they learn their way around and adapt to the new culture, new skills required with the introduction of new IT systems or tools, new automation, routine software updates with a change to features, or as simple but frustrating as a new photocopier or printer.

 

These examples indicate that TIM WOODS clearly applies to non-manufacturing environments just as much as it does in manufacturing.  These wastes not only decrease efficiencies but many of these are what frustrate our teams. 

 

Unfortunately, too often in non-manufacturing areas, the perception when beginning to track the above type of issues, people may take it negatively and look at it as personal criticism of their work or competence.  This should and can be overcome easily and quickly.  First start by explaining the why and "WIFM" (the 'what's in it for me?') to the team and that tracking of this information will be used to prioritize ares the team can focus on for improvement and will not be used for performance management.  The why and WIFM can include the following:

 

Why:

  • Improve efficiencies and effectiveness of the team
  • Increase team engagement
  • Make tasks easier to complete
  • Reduce rework and downstream problems
  • Meet / exceed 'customer' expectations and experience

 

WIFM:

  • Reduced frustrations and distractions
  • Less pressure and stress
  • Increased job satisfaction
  • Improved team work with peers

Next is to get some quick wins, ideally on things that cause them the biggest frustrations or create undesirable work or tasks.  Lead the team to identify the top 1-3 priorities and then implement problem solving methodologies to breakdown the problems, identify root cause, and implement countermeasures.  Select priorities that the team can directly control so that a quick win can be realized.  Doesn't have to be easy necessarily, but it should be an area within your or the teams' direct responsibility to make change.  This is to avoid delays or problems obtaining approvals or agreement from other leaders/department if it is not a priority to them. 

 

As the leader, you need to let the team come up with the countermeasures and to implement them.  Your job is to coach them along the way on problem solving, remove barriers experienced along the way, and provide necessary resources.  You also should provide a framework in which they can problem solve.  For example time frame for implementation, budget, tools, resources, etc, to help avoid the team coming back with a proposed solution that you will not be able to support.  Of course, you also have to provide encouragement along the way,  and recognition and celebration for achievements, including when counter measures don't work as expected. 

 

It may take some time, but following these steps is proven to build engagement, improve problem solving skills and capabilities, and increase job satisfaction.  The momentum builds and once moving, there will be no stopping it!

 

In the next article in this series, we'll discuss how you can put TIM WOODS to practice in a non-manufacturing area by 'teaching your eyes to see'.

 

If you missed the first article in the series, 'Leading Problem Solving in Non-Manufacturing Space - 1 Second Understanding", you can read it here.

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We had a great turn-out and received very positive feedback at our last Lunch & Lead Series on the topic of "Leading Problem Solving", however, we also received some comments that it was difficult for those in non-manufacturing spaces to relate to how they can lead problem solving in their area.  Over the next few posts, we'll cover off the topics from the Lunch and Lead Series but with a non-manufacturing focus.

 

If you missed the Lunch & Lead Series, it is available free at our on-line content site here as a “course” but don’t let the terminology fool you, it is just the video recording of the event, divided up into smaller duration “lectures” that correspond to each of the agenda items. Go check it out…

 

The first topic was the establishment of standards that within a very short period of time, as in a few seconds, anyone can determine if something is normal or abnormal.  As in manufacturing,  visualization of some standards in non-manufacturing areas are relatively easy.  These are the things that when out of standard negatively impact the team’s ability to do their work. 

 

Examples could include a common reference library of regulations, policies, or other documented information. Being able to quickly find what you’re looking for or identifying any that may have been misplaced can prove very helpful, save time, and reduce frustrations. In the virtual world, similar standards are useful for organizing digital storage by establishing standard file structures and nomenclature.

 

Other examples could be as simple of establishing standards around team supplies, tooling, or equipment.

 

 

In non-manufacturing areas the challenge often is that the “work” and “work flow” is not overly visible. For example, an engineering project is comprised of various tasks that engineers need to complete. The challenge here is that often with development type work, the engineers are dealing with a lot of unknowns or because it maybe the first time creating “something” there are no standards for it. In these cases, you want to establish standards around the work flow, provide a framework of generally accepted principles or benchmarks, and provide clear escalation mechanisms when things are not going as expected or planned. An effective way to visualize these is through a visual control board.

 

In the first example we will use a technical team that is responsible for completing some type of project type work. This could be product design, tooling or test equipment design, or construction/fabrication.

 

 

The layout of the board would be done in such a manner as to indicate the tasks that need to be completed by whom within a “standard” period of time. These standards could be industry standards, standard times as determined by the organization, benchmarks, or in the case of creative/innovative never been done before work, best guess estimations or established service level agreements (SLAs). It can also be with reference to the project milestones. Often, there is a strong reluctance to do this because of the “unknowness” of how long it should take to complete these tasks, however, referencing to the milestones allows for faster visibility of potential project delays or impacts. This should not be used to place blame or put undue pressure on those involved, but rather, provide the opportunity for escalation that can lead to additional resources, rescheduling of downstream tasks, and/or important communication of the status of the project to critical stakeholders.

 

Typically this would be visualized by day for a 1 to 2 week window for each person assigned to the project within a specific team. The board can be either physical or virtual board as long as the task assignments by day by week can be displayed. Each day the board is reviewed by those working on the tasks and their next level up leader. At the daily review, abnormalities to the standards would be very visible indicating a task is behind or that there has been some kind of difficulty or risk associated with it identified.

 

 

A pareto of issues can be created and built each day to help the team focus on the biggest issues that impact their work. Often in these types of situations, unplanned work plays a key role and has a significant impact on the teams ability to complete their project(s). Using a different colour sticky in this case to indicate unplanned work is very visual and can easily be tracked in the pareto as an issue. The leader can then assist the team in quickly resolving the issue through problem solving. The problem solving should not occur at the meeting, but rather a commitment made between the appropriate stakeholders as to what the next steps are and by when.

 

In the second example we’ll review a procurement situation. Typically a procurement team’s work flow is within a computer system. However, critical information is also usually available within those same systems. Again using a visual board and placing critical reports on them with visualization of abnormalities to standards is a good approach. For example, perhaps there are SLAs as to how long it should take for a purchase order (PO) to be placed. An aging report or having each buyer indicate which of their purchase requisitions (PR) are out of that standard helps to visualize purchasing abnormalities. Unfortunately, too often, we can experience payment problems to our vendors and then get ourselves into trouble when they refuse to continue to ship. Then talk about abnormal work to clear that up! Perhaps a metric that shows outstanding payment aging would be beneficial to avoid such situations. Again the abnormalities can be tracked in a form of a pareto for deeper analysis and problem solving. The point is to identify the aspects of the teams workflow that can or is having the biggest impact on their ability to effectively do their job or on the organization.

 

A third example is for a sales and marketing team.  They can visualize their work flow on a visual board and meet daily to review.  They could visualize main proposal work content and status.  Discuss new risks that arise that may pose a threat to winning the project, as well as visualizing the probability of a win and the financial status of the sales plan vs actual.  They can also capture lessons learned to improve their quoting and proposal process to drive continuous improvement, as well as to quickly identify abnormalities or issues that could impact a proposal so that problem solving is quickly initiated and/or escalated.

Although non-manufacturing work tasks are less naturally physically visible, the same principles apply.

 

You need to establish the standards the team is to follow, make them visible in some manner usually through a visual board, and then there needs to be some form of controls in place to manage and problem solve through the abnormalities.

Controls could include variance to SLAs, escalation mechanisms, layered process audits to confirm standards and identify areas needing focus, for example.

 

 

 

In the next post, we’ll discuss how TIM WOODS can apply to non-manufacturing areas.

 

 

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As we move towards the ‘new normal’, our need to adapt the way we execute our work will demand an increase in our continuous improvement and innovation (CI&I) activity.

 

As you do this, I would encourage you to follow the logic I use for future state design – THINK TO S.E.E – Simple, Elegant and Effective. 

 

When you approach CI&I, the focus should always be on simplifying how we do our work – it is much easier to make things more complicated than it is to simply them.   Solutions should be elegant or well-designed following design thinking methodology.  And finally, it is critical that processes are effective in delivering internal and external customer value.   

 

Developing and executing future state design using the THINK TO S.E.E approach does take more thought and effort, but the effort will have a much higher rate of return.   Quoting Mark Twain – “If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter”. 

 

If you would be interested in attending a virtual skill development session on the THINK TO S.E.E methodology, please let me know. 

 

Keep improving. 

Scott

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“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy”. Originally a proverb, this phrase was made famous by Jack Nicholson in the movie ‘The Shining’.  The real meaning of the proverb is that if you focus only on repetitive work, work that has limited challenge or if you do the same work every day, you will get bored and demotivated.  In organizations, focusing solely on executing daily work can lead to reduced productivity and lower engagement.  

 

Everyone needs meaning and challenge beyond their daily work.   Getting teams involved in continuous improvement projects or problem solving will allow them to focus on activities that will contribute to the long-term success of the organization.   If teams can get involved in improving their own work and work areas, it allows for increased levels of ownership, productivity improvement and reduced levels of frustration.  All very necessary activities to prepare to move into the new normal.     

 

Please let me know your thoughts.

 

Keep improving

Scott

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For most of us, we are now in week 4 of the ‘new normal’.   It also appears that we may be in our current situation for the unforeseeable future.  One of the last things we typically think about in an uncertain situation is continuous improvement. 

 

As we get used to our new working environments, we develop habits, tools and methods that help make our work easier.  We also identify those things that make our work more difficult. In a continuous improvement culture, we encourage our team members to share and adopt these best practices.   As well, we also encourage our teams to identify the blockers in how they perform their work and possible solutions

 

As a leader, now is a good time to engage our teams in identifying improvements and best practice sharing in the ‘new normal’.  Ask a few simple questions – what have we learned? What are we doing that works well? What is blocking our ability to be more effective?  Remember to engage your team in solutions, get them involved with the implementation and don’t take all the work on yourself.

 

Please let me know your thoughts.

 

Keep connected.

Scott

 

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The Old Sugar Shack

 

There are plenty of tools out there to help us with continuous improvement projects or for problem solving, but it's not about the tools!  It's about the mindset.  The mindset to simplify, make things better, reduce errors or defects, and reduce waste.

 

It's that time of year, at least where I live, that we anticipate warmer weather soon.  We hope!  That means the sap will start running for the annual maple syrup season.  A friend, that owns a farming business, asked me to help him tap some trees and hook up the sap lines in preparation for the sap to start running.  Sure beats the old days when I helped empty the buckets!  Man that was hard work!

 

Snyder Heritage Farms has various products, one of which is maple syrup.  Although not considered a large farm, they tap 2,500 trees with 3,800 taps pulling approximately 250,000 litres of sap through 24,000 feet of small lines. The small lines converge with 10,000 feet of larger main lines leading to the evaporator which boils the sap down to produce about 5,500 litres of pure Canadian maple syrup in an average season.

 

 

Even though I had helped in previous years, I was given a brief training course by the owner, Kevin Snyder, on the standard work to install the taps and connect the sap lines.  Kevin gave me some key quality points to ensure the hole was drilled properly, the tap installed correctly, and the line secured tightly.   What impressed me most though was his continuous improvement mindset.  He had determined the most efficient paths to walk through the bush to minimize walking, placement of the tractor in proximity to where we would need to reload with taps while minimizing the walking distance to/from the tractor to do so.  He established working zones for each helper to maximize coverage while eliminating any duplication or cross over.  He had nail pouches to hold the taps, harnesses for the drills so they were easy to carry and to set aside when not drilling, while eliminating the risk of setting them down in the snow and then leaving them behind.  All these things make sense, but what struck me most was his mindset.  He was very focused on making the process as efficient as he could to both reduce the burden on the tappers and make them more efficient, while also improving the process to reduce defective tap holes, taps, and hose line connections that could impact vacuum pressure and reduce sap yield.  At one point I complimented him on all the improvements he had made and for his mindset.  Kevin's response as he trekked off into the snow covered bush to put in more taps was,

 

"When you're the little guy, you have to be efficient!"

 

It is true smaller companies need to be efficient, but so do larger companies!  Unfortunately, sometimes larger companies lose focus and forget the importance of the team's mindset by hammering out new tools while insisting the team find a "problem" to apply them.  Tools are important, but it's the mindset that is most important because mindset is what creates the drive for continuous improvement.  After all, not everything needs a tool to improve.  Sometimes, just pure observation, common sense, and know how is all that is needed.  Mindset coupled with tools can be powerful, but when you have a bunch of tools without mindset, everything looks like a nail waiting to be hammered!

 

Maple Weekend - 4th & 5th April 2020

 

If you are near the Kitchener-Waterloo area, Snyder Heritage Farms hosts "Maple Weekend" on 4th & 5th April from 10:00am - 4:00pm where you can bring your family out to their farm for an instructional tour of the sugar shack and how maple syrup is made, take a tractor ride to visit the maple bush, and enjoy freshly made pancakes and sausages.  It's a fun couple of hours for the family on a nice spring day, and of course, there's lots of fresh maple syrup!

 

Snyder Heritage Farm
1213 Maple Bend Rd.
Bloomingdale, Ontario

 

 

 

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LeadWell Series - Gemba Walks

 

Combining HPSC’s “build strong” and HPL’s “lead well” philosophies, the two companies collaborated to launch the “LeadWell Series” on 29 January 2020, to deliver short burst skill development opportunities for leaders.  Starting the series with the topic of “Gemba Walks”,  30 leaders representing over 10 companies participated in a gemba walk skill development segment, best practices sharing, and a gemba walk at Baylis Medical to practice their skills and to “go & see” the linkage between Baylis’s tier 2, 3, and 4 level leader boards. 

 

The LeadWell Series is intended to provide leaders with opportunities to improve their skills rapidly (3-4 hours) in areas of most interest and importance to them and then put them into practice at their operation immediately.  Topics are selected based on leader input and requests.  Each LeadWell Series topic is structured around

 

3 key pillars:

  1. Short burst skill development on a topic of leader interest
  2. Bench marking and best practice sharing
  3. A commitment to implement a best practice

 

What attending leaders are saying they liked about this “LeadWell Series – Gemba Walks”:

 

“Real-life examples”

“The guidance provided during the presentation of best practices for effective and ineffective gemba walks which framed the ‘go and see’ element of the event.”

“New ideas and concepts I can try right away”

“Interacting with other leaders to discuss do’s and do not’s, lessons learned, and strategies that have proven successful.”

“Seeing what everyone is struggling with despite the company they belong to.”

 

Special thanks to Baylis Medical for hosting and sharing their boards and progress with everyone!

 

Leave a comment and let us know what LeadWell Series topics you would be interested in?

 

 

 

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A highly engaged and motivated employee is the most formidable weapon that an organization can utilize to compete and win. An engaged and motivated employee is more focused on doing their work, more productive, and is more likely to have a better work and home life.  However, less than 30% of an organization’s people fit this category. Less than 5% of organizations sustain high performance over the long term. One of the limiting factors may be your management system.

 

Here are a few simple steps to start to build a strong management system.

 

First, it is important to understand the purpose of a management system. In simple terms, your management system is in place to make sure you are dong the right things for your customers (or clients or patients). It does this by connecting everyone in your organization to your vision, strategy and big outcome measures to allow everyone to understand how they can impact the vision and connect to the big outcomes. The management system engages our humans through solving their own problems. The most effective way to do this is through 'low tech, high touch' planning and measurement white boards.

 

Here are the steps to start building or improving your management system:

 

1. Identify your customer and understand what value they need from you.

 

I find in a lot of cases, there is not a strong understanding of who the customer is.   Your customer is who gets direct benefit or value from what you do. For example, in health care, the patient receives the direct value from the care they are given.   If my role is a support operation in manufacturing, such as engineering that develops product drawings, it is the people who build the product from the drawings.    If my role is production, I deliver value directly to the end customer for the product.

 

2. Understand how you can easily measure the value you provide to the customer.

 

Our customers are easy. They want simple things.  They want their stuff NOW. They want it PERFECT. They want it WASTE FREE. They may also want a good experience during the process.

 

I recommend you start with NOW as it is the easiest.    We should all have a plan to deliver what our customer's need when they need it.   My customer needs their drawings today to build their product.   My patient wants to continue to get better.  All you need to do is measure how well you delivered on your plan.   I would also recommend using a planning white board to show your commitment to your plan.

 

3. Graph your results to understand how you are doing.

 

What does a good day look like?  Did we have a good day? Typically it is getting done what we need to accomplish for our customer.  If you started with NOW, on your next white board - performance board - graph how well you are doing.   Measure for a few weeks so you can start understanding a longer term trend in performance.

 

4. Start understanding why.

 

Why did we not have a good day? If you did not have a good day and did not accomplish what you needed to do for your customer, start understanding the  reasons that are blocking your performance.  You should start seeing some recurring reasons.  For each reason, understand how bad it is by adding a bar or Pareto graph under your performance graph to track the number of occurrences.

 

5. Run some experiments to make it better.

 

Once you have a good understanding of the reasons why you are not having a good day, start running some simple experiments to fix the problem.  Below your bar graph, document the experiment and indicate when you started the experiment on your performance graph. This will allow you to see if the experiment had the results you hoped for.  If it did, adopt this as a new why to do your work. If it did not 't, try new experiments until you learn what does work.

 

6. When you are ready, add your other measures.

 

NOW, PERFECT, WASTE FREE.   Keep it simple and do not add too many additional measures.  Fewer measures are better, but it is important not to have a lonely number so you need to provide some balance.  For example, if you measure NOW, balance it by making sure you are also delivering what you customer needs PERFECT.

 

Remember - a strong management system is elegantly simple and is driven by the daily connections we make with our people. 

 

 

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I’ve never understood why so few leaders use Leader Standardized Work (LSW).  I’ve found it to be a great tool to help me be a more consistent and effective leader.  I’ve used LSW for years.  For me it’s my little voice reminding me of the most important things I need to do or that I want to do to be successful when leading.  Regardless of your responsibility, there is a certain component of it that is repeatable and therefore LSW is for, well, everyone!

 

Here’s some key points I found useful when it comes to LSW:

 

1.  Set-up LSW with a designated section for daily, weekly, monthly and Mid-long term (quarterly, semi-annual) based on frequency of completion of the task.

 

2.  Place tasks in the LSW that are important to YOU, that you must get done and also the ones that you want to ensure get done, checked, or confirmed because they are important to you or your business.

 

3.  Set your LSW up on a monthly basis, refreshing it at the beginning of each month.

 

4.  Have a method within the LSW to indicate which days you are on vacation and differently identified when you are out of the office on business.  This will help you plan more effectively when you complete tasks or provide you the opportunity to delegate if necessary.

 

5.  LSW should be dynamic, not static.  It’s ok to add and remove items from your LSW.  As priorities change, new systems develop, metrics improve or degrade, you may find that you need to make adjustments as to what you’re doing or what you’re checking and confirming.

 

6. LSW is for you, not anyone else.  It’s fine to show people your LSW, but I don’t advocate posting it.  It’s more effective if you carry it with you at all times to help you actually execute to it versus showing others.  As a leader, you should be checking your teams LSW periodically as well.

 

7.  If you’re not getting to something on your LSW, don’t beat yourself up, but rather find the root cause as to why you are not getting it done and determine what you need to do differently to achieve it.  After all, the items on your LSW were put there by you because you either need to get them done as a core responsibility of your job, or they are most important to you.  Use it to improve your self-discipline, motivate you, or to remind you to just do it!

 

8.  LSW must be an integral part of your personal planning system and routine.  It must be integrated with your schedule, your follow-up system, and your to-do lists.

9. Print out your LSW for the month, update it daily throughout the day as you complete tasks, and “pencil” in additional LSW tasks as you’re thinking of them throughout the month.

 

10. When you get really busy, that’s when you need your LSW the most.  Don’t abandon it then.  Use it to help you get the most important things done.  In a pinch when you just can’t do everything, use it to make an informed decision as to what will and will not get done.

 

I use an Excel spreadsheet for my LSW. To make things easier, I've added some conditional formatting for visibility of weekends, business travel, or when out on vacation. I prepare the LSW for the month, print it out, and then use it daily by marking tasks using a pen. LSW is an integral part of my daily, weekly, monthly planning system.

 

I hope you found this helpful. Are there any key points I've missed or in your experience you feel are most important?

 

See more of Glenn's posts HERE

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