Continuous Improvement Training

Continuous Improvement Training

Continuous Improvement Training: The Importance of Leader Standard Work

You can't reclaim wasted time. Fifty hours a week is not a lot of time for doing both leader's standard work and continuous improvement work. It's disrespectful to waste part of someone else's 50 hours. It's your job to make sure that if someone is giving you time, that the time is being used to create value for customers. This job requires time management and sticking to leader's standard work.

Here are four tips from our continuous improvement training to developing leader standard work.

1. Understand that your day is made up of routine and non-routine work.

Time management is a critical piece of what you need to both teach and practice. In a lean culture, time management starts with the work - specifically, understanding routine and non-routine work and ensuring that all work creates value.

No matter who you are - from the CEO to a team member on the line - some of your work will have to take place regularly to do your job. This is routine work. Additionally, there will be non-routine work, which can be part of standard work to a certain extent. For example, putting in regular blocks of time in your standard work for non-routine work - such as ad-hoc meetings or assisting others with short term needs - helps to prevent non-routine work from disrupting routine work.

Continuous improvement training take-away: documenting your work will help you to identify what you must do routinely and what is preventing you from getting those things done.

2. Plan your value-adding routine work and stick to it no matter what.

Value-adding routine work has to be your priority. This category should include all of your work that supports lean principles, such as going to see work being done, asking questions about work being done, helping team members to identify waste, reviewing A3s that team members are using to solve problems, participating in the many PDCA cycles your team has planned, validating process and value-stream thinking, and reflecting on issues such as silo-thinking.

Continuous improvement training take-away, we have sometimes had team members who don't get their work finished and have given this reason why: "someone called a meeting." Our next questions are, "why did you go?" and "did you make them aware of your schedule?"

3. Document your non-routine work to understand root causes.

Keep a log of the non-routine work you do and reflect on what's driving it. Is it all necessary and creating value? Often non-routine work that keeps coming up and is not part of standard work indicates a problem.

In our continuous improvement training, sometimes we hear that the higher up in the organization you are, the less capable you are of having leader's standard work. This isn't true. There are regular things everyone must do to get their work done. What are the things that take you away from your leader's standard work? Look critically at these activities, and then take action.

4. Make the value-adding non-routine work routine.

Give yourself enough time to document non-routine work so that you can start asking, "why does this keep happening? What is the root cause? Is this actually value-adding work? Is it helping me to expose problems and engage employees?" If it is, then make that work part of your leader's standard work.

Continuous Improvement Training: Lean Leadership Online Course

Advance your career with LeanCor Academy’s online course, Lean Leadership: Building the Lean Culture. This interactive professional development course enables all leaders to:

  • Be a more effective leader, manage people, and drive operational excellence.
  • Improve value stream processes that impact the organization.
  • Learn how to create action-driven measurement systems and build successful teams.

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Posted by LeanCor Supply Chain Group

LeanCor Supply Chain Group is a trusted supply chain partner that specializes in lean principles to deliver operational improvement. LeanCor’s three integrated divisions – LeanCor Training and Education, LeanCor Consulting, and LeanCor Logistics – help organizations eliminate waste, drive down costs, and build a culture of continuous improvement.

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