What are you managing daily?

I constantly fight a battle against one of colleagues. She is absolutely lovely and extremely good at her job but on one particular point she is plain wrong.

There are many lean “tools” out there that are very useful. (You can argue that “tools” are unnecessary if you want. I probably will another time.) as I have probably mentioned already I love 5S. My colleague loves daily management. So the argument started like this; if you go to a company and find out that at best they have an ISO system that they never use, where do you start? Her answer? Obviously, daily management. Mine, 5S. We have an impasse. As I am me, I am the one who is right. She still will not admit it, she just says I’m arrogant. But there is as far as I can see no logic to starting with daily management and unlike my colleague, I will explain my rational, which is a little deeper than… “I like it.”

As I mention in this post the foundation of everything lean and good in the world is a well defined standard/desired state. If I do not have a specification for a product or a defined way of making that product it is extremely difficult to be exact about deviations. If you cannot tell me what is right, how can you tell me what I have is wrong? So if I cannot tell what is good and what is bad, what am I managing? To take it one step further then, what would I discuss in my daily meeting? Deviations? Well that is hard if I don’t know how things should be in the first place. Schedule? If I have no standard my schedule is fantasy. I could get my friend’s 2 year old daughter to write it. So what do you discuss? From my view, nothing valuable from an improvement perspective, until you have your products, parts, processes and value stream under some semblance of control. Daily manage getting those things in place! Focus on driving the change as quickly as possible without skipping the hard stuff.

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