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I’d like to offer valuable guidance on how to effectively address these challenges to help you achieve greater productivity and alignment.

1. What’s the best approach when dealing with an immature organization that may lack a solid foundation?

The starting point in these cases is typically the same. The best approach, as always, is to establish a clear framework. Begin by bringing together key stakeholders at a departmental level and then define KPIs that focus on safety, quality, cost, performance, delivery and morale. Then, look at the top three elements in each of the focus areas that you need to monitor.

Once you have a clearer idea of everything, involve tier 1 level to bridge data gaps and formalize escalation processes. Another tip here would be to begin with physical elements, before considering automation, to build ownership and accountability through a red, yellow or green status which helps set the behaviors of the tier 2 level.

Keep in mind, for tier 2 to be successful in a multi-shift organization, it’s important that you implement a handover process for real-time information flow between
tiers 1 and 2.

Download the how-to guide Making time for operations improvement to learn more about the fundamentals of an effective daily management system.

2. What are the tips for applying a DMS to support functions?

Start by establishing functionally relevant KPIs for each area. These KPIs should align with their specific responsibilities and connect to the departments they support. For example, in finance, KPIs may focus on data processing speed, customer service indicators and productivity in delivering financial analysis.

Consider, what is in it for me and ask yourself, “How is this stand-up review meeting going to aid us as a department?”

Design an activity board to support the team’s performance in delivering their service – especially where there are internal customers being served. Although you can design it, they’ve got to see the value in it, otherwise it will just be perceived as extra work.

Remember, lean is not just about operations; it’s when you implement it across the whole organization that you get the biggest gain.

By implementing these KPIs, nonmanufacturing functions can have their own management systems to monitor performance and drive improvement. This will create a culture of continuous improvement and accountability.

3. How should you conduct a tier 2 meeting for support functions? 

A tier 2 meeting typically involves a diverse group of participants to encourage cross-functional collaboration. While the production leader of the specific area being discussed takes the lead, it is important to have representatives from various support functions actively participating.

Key participants in a tier 2 meeting often include individuals from support functions such as quality, maintenance and production planning. Their involvement is crucial as these functions need to be closely aligned to ensure the optimal efficiency of the production process.

By including representatives from quality, maintenance and production planning, the meeting benefits from a comprehensive perspective.

4. How does a team handle having too many KPIs or measures that are not meeting target?

It’s all about focus. Identify the three key areas that will make the most difference, whether it’s safety, quality, performance or delivery. By prioritizing these areas, you can build a solid foundation and expand from there. It’s better to deliver outstanding results in three or four areas than trying to spin too many plates.

Even if you have five or six KPIs, the way to apply the focus is by having performance triggers linked to your most important KPIs. For example, if productivity is an important KPI, set some aggressive triggers around regular problem-solving to keep the team on track and to give you some flexibility on the less important KPIs.

5. What tips are there to keep DMS meeting discussions on track?

Establishing a structured agenda is a key behavior that needs to be put in place. Stick to the agenda to stay focused and avoid unrelated discussions. In fact, I’d recommend removing Any Other Business (AOB) entirely from the agenda – the lean principles are about focusing on the process, and AOB is not focusing on the process. Consider having a third-party coach or observer to address unconstructive behaviors that may creep in.

During the 24-hour daily performance review, focus on resolving previous issues for today and plan for what you need to do tomorrow and the next day.

6. How do you build the capability of shop floor operators to conduct formal problem-solving?

If we take a look at this from an operations point of view (this can be applied to any service area), we want to understand our performance based on short interval control (SIC). We need to ask, “Have we made the right number, have we made it safely, and have we made the right quality? If not, what are we going to do about it?”

Establish a trigger to generate a root cause analysis at least once per shift. Shift teams are going to work using 5 Whys (who what, why, when, where) or an Ishikawa diagram during the shift — start off with the 5 Whys and 1 How. The team then needs to establish what the problem is, and then build the 5 Whys from there. It’s all about creating ownership at the team level. To summarize, the steps are as follows:

    1. Identify the trigger to ensure action will be taken
    2. Identify the problem
    3. Identify what caused the problem

It typically takes about four to six weeks to get really good root cause analysis. In six months, you will have raised performance because you are fixing problems with a 100-year fix.

It’s worth noting that the capability may start with short root cause analysis training sessions, but you need to plan on spending weeks coaching problem-solving in real time, where the problems are actually happening on each shift. You cannot do it all in a classroom. It’s well worth the investment to coach it on the off-shifts.

7. How long should a DMS meeting last?

Tier 2 – Ideally 20 minutes or less.

Tier 1 – 10 to 15 minutes at most.

In conclusion

Organizations should pay careful attention to establishing clear guidelines, rules and procedures for managing and overseeing the DMS. The governance process involves defining roles, responsibilities and accountability structures within the DMS framework. It ensures that there are effective decision-making mechanisms, communication channels and performance measurement systems in place to drive the success of the DMS.

Contact us to find out how CCi’s new Accelerate program can help you initiate an effective daily management system.

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About Alex Cosgrove

Alex Cosgrove is Account Director, Europe at CCi. He is a highly experienced food manufacturing operations leader with a broad skill base of project management, budget and financial management responsibility, quality, safety management and team development . Prior to joining CCi, Alex spent 16 years at Weetabix where he held various leadership positions, including: Head of UK Manufacturing and Head of Performance Improvement. Alex’s areas of specialization include: lean management, change management and continuous improvement.