Organizations working with Continuous Improvements use Performance Management together with Daily Meetings and Escalation Processes to quickly identify problems and empower first-line employees to fix the problems they can, and to escalate those they cannot. This method helps to resolve problems as efficiently as possible.
- Facts and information continuously followed-up in the form of KPIs (and PIs).
- A meeting structure consisting of tiered meetings, from the shop floor to top management.
- A culture and mindset that encourage honesty, constructive discussions, decisions, as well as focus on solutions – all without blame.
Break down the organizations' overall targets into relevant SMART KPIs for each tier.
In daily production meetings, first-line employees follow-up KPIs relevant to them. Action is taken if the KPIs deviate. The team owns issues they can manage within the team during the meeting and decide who is responsible as well as set a deadline.
The meeting agenda includes time to follow-up on the action list and ensure activities are executed as planned. If the team cannot manage an issue during the meeting, it is escalated to the next tier-meeting.
There are many reasons to escalate an issue. Daily meetings do not allow time for more in-depth analysis to find root causes and decide actions. Or an issue could be owned by another team. Perhaps a higher mandate is required to make a decision. The two latter reasons means the problem is escalated sideways or upwards in the organization. Sideways could be within the production organization, but it could mean sending the issue to other departments such as maintenance, planning, or quality.
If the issue requires further analysis, escalate it to an Improvement meeting. Improvement meetings are a forum where cross-functional teams focus on finding the root cause of problems and take appropriate action to resolve them in both the short and long term. These meetings typically are held on a weekly or monthly basis.
First-line daily meetings are recommended to be held before the next tier meeting in order to enable quick escalation of issues.
Meetings are usually less frequent, the higher up in the organization you get. Issues passing through the escalation process all the way to the top, tend not to require immediate action. Issues requiring immediate top management attention can be fast-tracked outside of the standard meeting structure.
By working with Performance Management, Daily Meetings, and Escalation Processes, issues will reach decisions and action in the shortest possible time. The sooner a problem can be resolved, the smaller the impact will be.