A Simple Guide to Daily Work Management Steps
Striking out on your own as an entrepreneur or building your own business is stressful. It’s a work in progress and always will be. To make the most out of your growth, you’ll need to implement an effective daily work management protocol.
Daily work management is the process where business leaders break down their management system into a series of daily tasks. By referring back to these steps it helps the entire business to self-regulate, reflect, and grow.
It’s not just people starting out that could benefit from daily work management. If you are a business leader who’s looking for ways to increase productivity and include voices from every level, this is for you as well. Let’s take a look into what daily work management is and what steps are involved.
What is daily work management?
Put simply, it’s a management system that takes a daily approach and involves every department, and requires input from all staff. There are three main areas of daily work management and these are visual management, leadership routines, and accountability practices.
These three elements should play an important part in your business’s operational governance. A daily work management system helps your team to overcome problems with the 4Ms of production – man, machine, material, and methods.
Any leader knows that the beast of business is hard to tame but daily work management steps are a proven model to overcome challenges. It’s a sustenance technique and focuses on problem-solving. Many leading businesses have implemented daily work management steps to facilitate their growth.
Daily Work Management Steps
What steps you’ll want to include depends on what type of business you are and the size of your team. While solo entrepreneurs can benefit from looking at demand data and accountability, they won’t have much use for Gemba walks.
Take a look at the steps below and see how they can fit into your daily workflow. If you have employees then remember that this system works best when it’s collaborative. Everyone should have a voice from the entry-level production staff to senior-level leaders.
1. Demand data
Ultimately the people businesses answer to are their customers or clients. Begin your day by reviewing the demand. What is it your customers want from you? A great tool for this is Pivot Tables which is an interactive tool for tracking data.
Pivot Tables let you summarize data quickly. Use them to make comparisons, monitor trends, and discover unanticipated questions. Consider implementing this tool to make the most out of your customer’s data and always stay ahead of demand.
2. Takt time
Once you know your demand you can work out your takt time. Takt time is basically the pace your production needs to run at to keep up with demand. To work this out, all you need to do is take the working time available (what your staff is working minus any breaks) and divide this by the customer demand.
This is not to be confused with cycle time which is how long it takes to create a product. Takt time is not something that can easily change. It is dependant on demand and the working time available.
3. Visual management board
A visual management board is something that’s widely used in production and factories. It has useful data about production progression compared to projections. A production board can be used to record any hindrances that affect the team’s output.
In order to make the most out of visual management boards, leaders shouldn’t use them as a way to intimidate their staff. It should be used as an effective tool to encourage employees by sharing the bigger picture performance of the business.
4. Daily accountability
Daily accountability meetings are where every employee has the chance to speak and make suggestions to improve the business. Through accountability meetings you’ll learn of any hindrances and if there are any ways to improve productivity. There should also be the opportunity for staff to ask for help if they need it.
Your meetings could be in the form of daily stand-ups which are short meetings held at the start of the day. Refer to the production board and keep staff informed of what’s going on with the business. Other types of meetings may also be relevant such as safety briefings, cleaning, or equipment checks.
5. Leader standard work
Leader standard work is the set of processes that team leaders of all levels use to monitor their team. It’s a way to check in on the day’s progress and how well your team is performing. Make sure they’re following the correct procedures and it’s a great way to find future leaders to develop.
6. Gemba walks
Gemba walks are something a leader can do to learn more about the processes they may not be involved in. It allows bosses to find exceptional people, observe their staff, and gain a deeper understanding of things that do or don’t work well. A good idea is to record your findings to help improve the processes or eliminate any wasted resources.
7. Collaborative coaching
Businesses will thrive when there is a culture of collaboration. By encouraging employees to share their knowledge and skills with one another the overall productivity will tick upwards. Nurture collaboration by rewarding creative problem-solving. This will help employees to think smarter and contribute to company growth.
8. Response planning
Leaders need to take action early to avoid any loss of production due to unforeseen circumstances. This can be achieved by implementing things like job rotations or cross-training. Businesses need to be flexible enough to move staff to cover shortages if they occur.
9. Process confirmation
This method is how managers check the integrity of their processes. Is the work being done as set out in company procedures and is it up to the expected standard? Process confirmation can help to expose any areas which are falling short and even expose potential hazards.
These daily work management steps are great for helping your team to build habits, review your processes, and make sure the business is growing. It can expose vulnerabilities and help to create a system of response to ensure business continuity. Not all steps will be useful for your business but consider implementing the ones that will.