Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A Different Kind Of Rounds: Lean Daily Management

As doctors and veterinary staff, we are well acquainted with the daily ritual of morning or change of shift medical rounds. This is the gathering of hospital staff and doctors to be updated on the current status of all of the patients in the hospital for treatment, and for the dissemination of new treatment orders by the doctors in charge. This is a form of standardized work. It gets everyone on the same page in a routine and timely manner.

Lean Daily Management (LDM) serves the same purpose, but for the operations and management side of the practice.

Each morning, leadership and management go to the gemba to meet with staff of a particular area of the practice to go over that area's board. What numbers are up (and why?) and what numbers are down (and why?). Or, better yet, do the Process Behavior Charts (PBC) of the data show any "signals" or is it all just "noise?" (see also Mark Graban's book "Measures of Success") What countermeasures should be tried? Any new kaizen ideas? What, if anything, can management do to support the staff? Any evidence that standardized work is not being followed?

Sidebar: One of the two Process Behavior Charts above is showing two signals. Can you identify which chart it is and what the signals are?

LDM helps support our progress through that big PDSA cycle called hoshin kanri or strategy deployment. Remember, part of the Act (/Adjust) phase of a successful PDSA cycle is to sustain the results (for now), write new standardized work, scale up if appropriate, and start teaching to the new standard. This brings a new current state, and the next target condition is identified, initiating a new PDSA cycle of improvement.

In the figure above, the wheel has been moved up the ramp (improvement) through A3 thinking and kaizen. But, there are forces in any system that want to undo that which has been accomplished. Some call it entropy; I think of it as organizational gravity. The function of standardized work is to counter those evil forces by stabilizing and sustaining the new current state.

The role of LDM is to sustain and stabilize ("nail down") standardized work as it is currently written. LDM functions as a "checks and balance" for standardized work, which acts as a wedge to help prevent organizational backsliding. LDM is the setting aside of time on a daily basis to monitor for this potential.

So, to recap, standardized work sustains the current state, and LDM sustains the current standardized work.

Lean Daily Management meetings should take 10 to 20 minutes per day. They are typically done in the mornings, however, they need to be a scheduled, daily priority for all involved. Choose the time that’s best for your practice and team.

All extraneous interruptions should be put on hold for the entirety of the time. During the meeting, a staff member from the department or area of the practice, such as the Hospital Care team, quickly reviews the metrics, status of any countermeasures, new problems that have come up, any cross training efforts, new and ongoing kaizen, etc. with management. The staff member that leads the meeting should rotate from amongst the entire team, so that everyone gets the opportunity to lead the conversation and learn.

As is the Lean perspective, management takes on a teaching and mentoring capacity; asking questions to stimulate A3 thinking, encouraging all efforts and practicing servant leadership.

So, Lean Daily Management accomplishes several things:
1. Gets management to the places where work occurs (go to gemba)
2.  Facilitates conversation and consensus building with staff
3.  Demonstrates management's commitment to the staff
4.  Monitors the metrics that support the True North statement and KPIs
5.  Allows time to encourage and appreciate kaizen efforts
6.  Sustains and audits standardized work
7.  Creates increased engagement of the workers
8.  Show respect for workers

Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions always welcome.

Also, to answer the sidebar questions, the bottom PBC is showing a signal that needs to be investigated. The first signal is the data point above the upper process limit.The second signal is three or four of the last four data being closer to one of the process limit lines than the average. In the case above, the last five data points are closer to the lower process limit line than the average. In fact, it appears that we may be trending around an entirely new, lower average, which indicates that the whole system has changed somehow. Both of these conditions should have been recognized earlier than now, if they weren't. The next step is root cause analysis and formation of countermeasures, i.e. PDSA problem solving.

No comments:

Post a Comment