Lean Daily Management

Lean Daily Management is a set of foundational practices and tools critical for any organization’s long-term success. The strategy aims to give people at every level within an organization the ability to clearly visualize and determine whether performance is good, bad, or in need of corrective action on any given day.

In these next few sections, we’ll define Daily Management and outline the key components and enablers that make up this essential strategy.

What Is Lean Daily Management?

Lean Daily Management (LDM) is a set of processes designed to ensure that work is done the right way, at the right time to ensure an organization hits its target objectives.

The goal of a Lean Daily Management system is to make sure that an organization’s results and processes are being upheld. It helps companies serve their customers by ensuring that teams do their best work each day and seeks to answer questions such as: Are we winning or losing? What actions do we need to take to get back on track? Are we sustaining improvements from past efforts?

Lean Daily Management helps companies build the habits that make Lean thinking and best practices second nature. Those habits include activities like setting standards, making project statuses visible, and creating a culture where cross-departmental collaboration becomes the norm.

The Definition of Lean Daily Management

Lean Daily Management can be defined as a system that allows organizations to know where they stand on a daily basis. It allows them to instantly understand whether they're on track to hit goals or need to take corrective action, and make sure that past improvements are being sustained.

Lean Daily Management Online Video Courses

As part of our growing School of Lean library, our Lean Daily Management courses will guide you from the basics to being ready to implement Lean Daily Management concepts within a few days.

Through this course you will learn how to make lasting changes as well as how to decide where to start making improvements.

What Is the Lean Daily Management System?

There are four major components or essential routines that work together to create a system that sets the stage for sustained success. Each of these activities is time-based and involves everyone in the entire organization.

It’s important to note that, while these four Lean Daily Management activities are performed by different people at different frequencies (and to varying levels of detail), together they help organizations understand how they’re doing and identify areas where improvements can be made.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each routine and the role it plays in the broader Lean strategy:

  1. Daily Accountability. Daily Accountability is a process designed to engage workers at all levels in an organization to ensure that everyone has exactly what they need to successfully complete their work that day. Daily Accountability involves everyone checking in on process performance and addressing issues each day through daily huddles and standup meetings with a visual display board nearby.

  2. Leader Standard Work. Leader Standard Work is a routine designed to bring critical daily management tasks into leaders’ routines, whether they’re in middle management, the C suite or somewhere in between. The goal is to confirm that standards are being met, as well as to help leaders identify opportunities to coach and develop their direct team.

  3. Gemba Walks. A Gemba Walk is an opportunity for leaders to capture information about how effectively teams and processes are performing by going to the location where work is being performed.

  4. Process Confirmation. Process Confirmation refers to a series of process standard audits, which are incorporated into the routine and random check-ins.

Seven Essential Enablers

In addition to the four routines, Lean Daily Management also includes Seven Essential Enablers, which you might think of as prerequisites for the LDM system.

Before you get started with Gemba Walks or Daily Meetings, the following Seven Enablers must be in place—otherwise, you may end up building a Daily Management strategy on a shaky foundation.

  1. Team size & span of control for team leaders
  2. Key performance indicators (KPIs)
  3. Standard work
  4. Visual controls
  5. Escalation system
  6. Competence with practical problem solving
  7. Coaching

How to Practice Lean Daily Management

Before getting started with a complete Lean Daily Management system, organizations should already be familiar with practices like 5S, Kaizen, Practical Problem Solving, and Standard Work.

From there, you’ll want to conduct a Daily Management System (DMS) Readiness Assessment to make sure that there are not any critical gaps in your Lean foundation. Gemba Academy’s Lean Daily Management course breaks down this strategy into an approachable series of video training modules. We cover everything from Coaching and Daily Accountability to Gemba Walks and Leader Standard Work.

Check out the Lean Daily Management overview module before diving in head-first. We explain what this series entails and show you how to perform a DMS assessment to gauge your team’s readiness.


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