The Role of Daily Management in Creating a Lean Culture
By: Dean Simmons
The work environment of a manufacturing business is a critical factor for its growth, competitiveness, and success. A company culture driven by continuous improvement initiatives sustained over time not only delivers value to customers but also engages your workforce as habitual problem-solvers.
Manufacturing leaders are tasked with running their business effectively and improving their operations. These responsibilities also involve managing the daily work of their organization, otherwise known as Daily Management.
Daily Management in manufacturing refers to the systematic and routine activities that manufacturing organizations undertake to ensure smooth operations, maintain quality, meet production targets, and continuously improve processes.
According to the Gemba Academy, “at the most basic level, a daily management system enables us to know each day whether we are on-track or off-track to meeting our goals. It provides a structure to expose problems and take corrective action.”
Daily Management plays a role in creating a Lean culture that promotes problem-solving in place of finger pointing.
Although Lean is process focused, it does require daily commitment and daily accountability by those who audit processes, identify abnormalities, and create a problem-solving culture through Daily Management.
Leaders who encourage the active participation of their entire workforce help to ensure the effectiveness of Daily Management. Seeking feedback from employees and implementing changes to optimize processes fosters a culture of continuous improvement.
It also involves providing ongoing training to employees to enhance their skills, keep them updated on new processes and technologies, and equip them with the appropriate resources to complete tasks in a safe environment.
The key principles behind Daily Management are:
- Expect people to solve problems at their own level.
- Use standardized work as the foundation for continuous improvement and employee empowerment.
- Expand and employ best practices and share ideas across the organization.
- Use visual management to expose and correct problems, inspire improvement, and understand situations at a glance.
The beneficial outcomes of employing Daily Management in your manufacturing business to create a Lean culture are many. It allows teams and individuals to:
- Be engaged in the process by using their knowledge and experience to check and solve problems regularly
- Feel supported by valuing their input
- Explore what is important to do their job well and to satisfy their customers
- Develop team-based working relationships and ownership responsibilities
- Establish visual means to manage work that promotes a standard way and process
- Share information and learning across the team and business
By systematically managing the routine activities of your manufacturing organization, Daily Management can be the driver for the continuing success of your business.
To learn more about Daily Management, take advantage of CONNSTEP’s continuous improvement on-site consulting or through our Continuous Improvement Champion Certification (CICC) program. CICC training reviews the key components of Daily Management in manufacturing.
This course provides comprehensive exposure to the principles and practices needed to develop and sustain a Lean Enterprise. You will receive immediate reinforcement of the classroom learning by applying your training to a real-life project within your organization.
Often basic housekeeping is overlooked in favor of “productivity.” This is a common practice but one that costs you over the long run. Putting a basic 5S program in place is inexpensive and yields a great return on your (small) investment.
By enrolling an employee in CONNSTEP’s CICC program, the company streamlined their workflow, resulting in significant operational gains and reduced lead times, ultimately enhancing their overall performance