Managing Results Tools

You can expect what you inspect

W. Edward Deming – PDCA-guru

If you’ve set some clear objectives, spent time engaging with your customers to find out how to best serve them…if you’ve spent months strategising and setting up your teams… it’s a waste not to follow up, not to hold people and teams accountable and not solve issues when they come up. You’ve spent all this time and you give up at the first obstacle? A race is won at the finish-line.

These set of tools are core to the Lean-philosophy and are as powerful in a commercial context as they are on a factory floor. If you mess this up, it’s all been a waste.

Daily and Visual Management

There are two angles to this that interact heavily.

It’s a process

Daily management is the act or process of daily (or weekly, monthly whatever) reviewing your processes, signal issues and address them. This is a meeting, happening at Genba ideally, where the team that works the process talks about the process. Process is shown in numbers (a mix of leading and lagging indicators) but it’s not about the numbers, it’s about the process. The numbers are there to show if the process is working against the expectation from the customers (which could also be the next downstream team/process).

It’s a visual control

Daily management needs to be visual. A visual says more than a number or a piece of text. And it should be so simple you (and anyone) can tell within 5 seconds if it’s good (green) or not (red). If it’s red, a runrate will tell you whether it’s an anomaly or systemic issue, a pareto will tell you where the issues occur and list of actions with status or problem solving chart/A3 will tell you how the problems are being addressed.

Problem Solving / A3

Problem Solving is the main and core concept of Lean. It’s a process, a mindset and an artefact. But first and foremost it’s a process that helps team identify and understand symptoms, causes and eventually root causes. It’s a process to understand what’s happening where and why. It’s a process in which more than 70% of the time is spent understanding a problem, rather than solving a problem. As the saying goes, once you truly understand a problem, the solution is easy. The it’s just about a PDCA cycle of implementing some countermeasures, and following up through daily/visual management to make sure everything stabilises again.

Business Cadence

In companies that have successfully adopted lean thinking and lean management, business cadence as specific form of daily management / strategy deployment is the lifeline of the business. It drives clarity, priority and full transparency.

Once Business KPIs and Growth-Breakthrough Objectives are set, they will need to actively managed through a cascading roll out of visual and daily management. All teams at gemba

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