#What if there’s no leader authority?

Dear CEO, lacking Leader Authority there is little chance of Standard Work!

Standard work on the shop floor seldom can be successfully implemented and sustained unless the direct line responsible leader has practical skills in building ones authority with the members.

With No standard work there is no improvement, no flow, no lead time reduction.

So, the real challenge, often is with the shop-floor leaders not having the lean leadership tools box of skills to implement standard work and facilitate its sustainability.

I believe that when members are promoted to a leadership position as a team or group leader, a supervisor, they don’t receive the proper training in advance to support them in being successful.

Often they are promoted to fail not to succeed. Let’s say, they sink or swim approach. Some support mechanisms I explain below.

Here are some rules and principles I have learnt working with shop floor and senior management when it comes to reducing client lead time and improving product quality through developing leaders on the shop floor.

I will highlight 5 key areas. First, we must keep in mind the formula which applies to any and every business – SQDC from a Process and People perspective. Safety for employees, Quality and Delivery for Clients and Cost for the business.

Standard work + Flow reduces lead time – D and improves quality Q. All for the client. Meaning, when you start to improve standard work of key operational processes, thereby reducing all non-value added processes and behaviours in the value chain, from push, through pull to flow, you automatically reduce the lead-time of your product orders. Use daily visual management. Marker pens and white board will save you millions of dollars, euro, pounds and what ever currency you trade in. No ERP, Industry 4.0 needed.

Introducing or improving Standard work of operators, moving away from process memory, requires leaders to have the “Practical Authority’ to Engage, Inspire and Implement standard work at the genba.

For this to happen they need Practical On-the-Job Developmental skills so called, The 5 T Leadership skills and habits as relates to Lean Leaders.

TRUST – Ability to build a trusting relationship with your team through your competency in performing a given task and worthiness of your behaviours.

TRUTH – Ability to demonstrate ones truthfulness through the attributes of being accurate, open and sincere in what you say and do.

TRANSPARENT – Ability to demonstrate transparency in leadership by the attribute of being clear and concise and being able to substantiate your work through facts.

TOUGH – Ability to persevere and hold-on to agreed standards of work and behaviour in the face of adversity, chaos and change.

TENDER – Ability to demonstrate sincere empathy, as being a leader is not just about process and standards but also the psychology of finding meaning and purpose at work. Hence, practice Mendoumi, a key success factor in any good shop floor development programme.

Having a working standard operating procedure for dealing with inappropriate behaviour through escalation management principles, rules and procedures. Often, if a leader cannot encourage a team member to stay with the agreed standard process, they have no effective way of dealing with the situation. For one, they are not equipped personally, and secondly there is no clear standard, if there is one at all, of how to escalate this higher up., This is very much related to Andon in Lean.

Finally, Standard Work does not function well unless Senior and Top Management do not practice their own standard work, so called minimum job role – MJR and Daily Management Practice – DMP, and so we arrive at our strategy deployment  and the beloved Hoshin Kanri model.

If you have these top 5 levers in place and you practice them with simple visual management tools, focusing on removing non-value added work and developing members in problem solving and standard work,  you are a winner in your industry sector.