Monday, July 17, 2017

4 Tiers for Daily Accountability


Lean (continuous improvement) organizations make use of daily management systems that are designed so that problems can be quickly identified, front-line staff are empowered to fix the problems that they can, and problems that the front-line staff cannot fix are escalated and countermeasures created quickly.

Daily tiered meetings are an integral element of daily management system. The number of tiers might vary with respect to the size of the organization. The objective of the tiered meetings is to have an alignment across the organization to achieve a common goal. The result KPIs & process KPIs are monitored on a day-to-day basis. The result KPI of one tier might be the process KPI of another. Thus the linkage between hierarchies too is maintained in achieving the common goal.

Tier 1: Start of shift, led by production team leader with production team. The idea is to focus on abnormalities. That’s an opportunity to get better.

Tier 2: Led by supervisor with production team leaders and any dedicated support group representatives.

Tier 3: Led by value stream manager or equivalent with supervisors and support group representatives or staff members. The goal is to visualize gaps in the system, drive team problem-solving and to improve the overall business. Tier 3 is the first place where the overall business goals are being addressed in the problem-solving process.

Tier 4: Led by plant manager with production and support staff members.  Focused on "run-the-business" as well as "improve-the-business" activities.

Characteristics of all meetings:

  • Brief - rarely longer than 15 minutes
  • Standing up
  • Located immediately adjacent to and not physically separated from production floor
  • Agenda and content defined by a visual display board

The backdrop for tiered meetings is primarily a visual process performance metric board and is supplemented with things like a task accountability board, posted leader standard work, and suggestion status board.

The meeting is an opportunity for the team to reflect on the past day, anticipate the next day and discuss issues, problems and opportunities. Engaging people in the meeting is too important. The team leader should engage as many people as possible in this problem solving exercise as to develop more problem solvers. Thus everyone becomes a leader and the behavior gets built in.

Daily accountability is a vehicle for ensuring that focus on process leads to action to improve it. The structure of the daily accountability process is straightforward — a series of four brief meetings to review what happened yesterday and assign actions for improvement. These are fast-paced, stand-up meetings at the work location that emphasize quickly resolving or investigating to the next level interruptions in the defined process.

Daily accountability is the vehicle for interpreting the observations recorded on the visual controls, converting them into assignments for action and following up to see to it that assignments are completed. As with the other principal elements of lean management, daily accountability relies on disciplined adherence to its processes on the part of those who lead the four-tier meetings. 


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