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Managing Multiple Sites, Departments or Teams

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are put in place to insure that sites, departments or teams are meeting the overall organizational objectives. However, often a missing component within the KPI’s is that they need to be local, relevant and that the local team has the ability to adjust behaviour to bring the KPI’s back in line.

Mariela and I have the great opportunity to visit and work with many organizations … one of my favorite questions to ask the front-line folks is “How do you measure a successful day?” Seldom, actually very seldom do folks point to a quantifiable measure or KPI … but rather respond, that their supervisor did not scold them or they did not get hurt. These are great responses, but when you are chasing productivity.

Then we watch in awe as VP’s, Managers and Supervisors run around with little standardized sense of purpose, rather opting to jump on a plane, jump in a car just to go visit a site, because we need to be with our people. They hope that by the end of the month this random effort will reflect positively in their financials. Nice, but not necessary very cost effective.

Here are some things that have worked will for me . I do not like surprises so really stay true to the following mantra;

  • Make your Plan

  • Work Your Plan

  • Meet Your Numbers

Typically the first Report I develop is my BILLINGS, BOOKINGS AND BACKLOG REPORT, also commonly known as my “Flash Report”. This report quickly allows me to monitor the health of my value streams. I look to insure that my Billings and Bookings are staying in balance with my forecasts. I can also quickly divide my Backlog with my average days billings to determine what my order turn-a-round time will be and adjust accordingly. Also, as my backlog increases I need to add through-put capacity. I can look at multiple sites quickly and make the necessary course corrections. The report needs to be simple, compact in a single page and on my desk first thing in the morning showing the previous days activity.

After having developed the Flash report, next is to develop a strategy of improvement. The best tool for creating eyes for waste and eyes for flow is Value Stream Mapping, plus it allows your team to be “ON” the business instead of being “IN” the business for a few days. The outcome of this work-shop provides the fodder for Policy Deployment.

Based on the prioritized list of opportunities I can manage teams or sites to insure that

they are meeting due dates and delivering the desired results. I feel that my role is to

coach & mentor teams by being able to provide them with the resources they need to insure successful accomplishments.

Here is a list of how we outline the various tools that form a hierarchy of management and communications within your organization.

STEP DIAGNOSTIC – A 5 year forward view of KPI’s, the supporting enablers and definitions around those enablers so a common understanding exists within the organization. Once defined, the STEP Diagnostic acts as a quick scorecard.

X-MATRIX – 1 Year plan of intended accomplishments linking KPI’s to Strategic initiatives, balancing of resources and KPI’s. The X-Matrix can also be used as your Balanced Scorecard

TEAM REFLECTIONS – Using a slight twist of the Demming PDCA cycle. Teams Check on performance and trends against forecast the previous month, while Planning for expectations 3 months forward.

WEEKLY DEBRIEFS – this a great tool for managing multiple remote locations. Managers reflect on the week’s activities on What Worked Well (WWW), What Did Not Work Well (WDWW), What to Do Different (WDD), and finally planned accomplishments. This report should be completed within 5 minutes and clearly the focus is on Planned Accomplishments both for the user and the coach.

Daily Report-Outs – a Daily quick 3 minute stand-up meeting which typically occurs where the work is actually being performed to insure teams have the resources needed to accomplish plan and to reflect on critical KPI’s. Daily Report-Outs are typically combined within the communication methodology that includes shift start/exchange meetings. The Daily Report-Out methodology looks at a 48 hour view ... Read more about Daily Report-Out here.

Leader Standard Work – our format is more like a TPM for Leaders to insure that tasks that need to be accomplished daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly are synchronized.

VISUAL STANDARD WORK INSTRUCTIONS – how you want tasks performed to insure consistency of out-put and the ability to audit process. Typically 50% of the instruction should be occupied with pictures.

TOTAL PRODUCTIVE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST – The power of an operator applying pencil to paper exponentially increases emotional attachment to process and hence the ability to early detect potential problems so they can be rectified before significantly impeding process.

A3 METHODOLOGY – Don’t hand me a report or show me a Power Point Presentation, instead give me an A3. The A3 is a summary document about the status of a project or resolution to a problem. Since it follows a consistent format I can churn through a lot of data quickly and if needed request additional information.


As a leader you cannot take anything for granted. If you cannot “Taste, Touch or Feel” an attribute it probably is a story. So when you go to visit another site, you must allocate time to conduct a physical audit of various attributes and make sure your local leader does not act as the parade marshal ... Et off the beaten track to see what lurks beyond the parade route.

I am impressed by the successful leaders that know that once a strategy looses focus that their is a high likelihood that the initiative will die.

Plus, make sure you use your name stamp ... It is like leaving your foot prints in the snow. People will know you where there ...


We do more than just blog. We're active Lean practitioners who would love to help you achieve your productivity goals.

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