Updated: Mar 6, 2021
Pick up any book speaking about the virtues of the Toyota Production System and they will immediately talk about “Going to the Gemba” or visit the shop floor. This is probably the most powerful attribute hidden within the Toyota Production System. When applied correctly it forms the base of Standardized Work for Leaders and quickly allows leaders to
compartmentalize the noise that can create disturbances to flow.
In many manufacturing organizations, the most religious daily meeting is the production
meeting. In most cases, it becomes more of a prayer meeting as managers and supervisors
pray for no material shortages, quality impacts or labour problems they then begin to seek
forgiveness for not meeting goals established at the previous day’s meeting … in conclusion
these meetings can become the biggest waste of the day and also removes the leadership
team from the “Gemba” where they are needed the most.
I would propose that you establish Report-Out boards (whiteboards) in strategic locations
throughout your plant. Probably you would want to follow your Value Stream beginning with
the final customer and working your way to the receipt of raw materials. You will want to cover the 4 areas that could create “Disturbances to Flow”, they are Health & Safety, Quality,
Production and of course Continuous Improvement to ensure we are getting better every day. You should assemble the management team or an assigned alternate (decision-makers) to walk the standardized route for daily report-outs and deal with any potential issues that could create a disturbance to flow for the coming 24 hours, you should also review the results of the previous 24 hours to make certain that your plans and targets were met. This can be accommodated by asking just 3 questions:
What Worked Well (WWW) … so keep doing it!
What Did Not Work Well (WDWW) … so stop doing it!
What Do We Need to Do Different (WDD) … change or enhance the process!
With practice and the use of precision speaking a report-out can be completed within 10
minutes. The power of having the entire management team in attendance is that decisions
can be made right on the shop floor without having to schedule another meeting, page the person or hope that someone else will solve the situation.
Once this base-line of communication is entrenched within the organization it becomes very
easy to add on additional reporting exercises. To get the leadership team away from “aisle management” start adding mini 5S audits, or have employees do mini-report-outs to the leadership team on a suggestion that they have implemented giving them an acknowledgement of their contributions.
In addition, the increased visibility of management on the shop floor demonstrates the commitment of management to the well-being of employees and the vision to remain competitive. Try it … you will like it!
Daily Report-Out Questions
HEALTH & SAFETY
All Employees Present?
What will be the impact of absentees?
Any Production Concerns?
Do you have enough material?
All Equipment in good working order?
Did you meet yesterday's target?
Will you meet today’s target?
If no, what do we need to do?
Any Quality Alerts?
Any Quality Concerns?
How many quality spills yesterday and magnitude?
Is there anything you need to help you do your job better today?
What is your 5 Minute 5S task for today?
What can you do to find 1 second of savings in an operation today?
What can we work on to better improve our workplace today?
(WWW) What Worked Well?
(WDWW) What Didn’t Work Well?
(WDD) What could we have Done Different?