Webinar Report: The Power of Supervisor Standard Work: Key Enablers and Challenges by Dr Hakeem Hammad

Under the topic of “The Power of Supervisor Standard Work: Key Enablers and Challenges” Dr Hakeem Hammad from Xi Horizons Consulting shared how adhering prescribed daily tasks can enable supervisors to effectively manage their main resources, of time and people to move from fire fighters to a proactive leaders.

Aside from the consistent delivery of objectives this methodology also gives the supervisor more control over how their time is productively spent and could reduce the rate of staff turnover.

According to Hakeem Supervisor Standard Work can defined as:

  • Simple and well defined standardized activities that are to be completed on a frequent interval: daily, weekly, monthly basis
  • It focuses supervisor on doing the right things and avoid distractions
  • It increases the ability of the supervisor to focus and thoroughly explore problems and ensure problems resolved in a timely manner
  • It allows supervisor to be a Coach, Helper, and Serious Overseer for operators on the shop floor
  • It create an alignment between supervisor and support staff on a continuous basis as well as SMT
  • It ensures alignment on best practice across shifts
  • It provide a basis for continuous improvement for supervisor performance

Standard work sits along side Flow and Pull and Performance Measurement as key pillars of lean manufacturing.  

Digging into his own personal experience Hakeem listed 7 core expectations of a supervisor covering:

  • Availability on the shop floor
  • Goal and priority setting
  • Create a teamwork environment that strives to exceed department goals
  • Delegation and empowerment of team members
  • Effective and timely decision making
  • Continuous rewards and recognition of good performance
  • Continuous operator coaching and developing

Central to these expecations is the availability of supervisor on the shop floor which  is ensured through ‘Gemba walks’ that takes place at the start of the shift, mid-shift and at the end of the Shift.  During the Gemba Walks the supervisor uses a set questions for each area to learn about the current state, challenges and help needed to ensure his/her team meet the goal across the entire department.

This also makes the supervisor closer to his/her people and provide true leadership on the shop floor ensuring they are on the top of everything and provide continuous support to their entire department and rewarding good performance constantly.

Typical questions broken down according to the different sections of the lines could include:

  • Any safety and Quality concerns?
  • Do we have enough people?
  • What is the target for Today?
  • What is the priority for today?
  • Is there any escalating issue from previous shift?
  • Are we set up for success today?
  • What help you need?
  • Check Batch record and Documentations
  • Have we met set up targets?

Visualised in a table these question areas are probed during the different shifts recording

  • What Went well?
  • Improvement/ key Finding?

Standard work can only be meaningfully done in collaboration with management through a change programme but once implemented it gives the supervisor more control over how his time is spent.  Hakeem suggested that the typical time breakdown should be 60% observation, 20% input and 15-20% on random tasks.  Adhoc meeting and requests should be factored into the random task area allowing the supervision to consistently deliver on the key role of supervising on the shop floor, rather than being distracted by other non core tasks.

Hakeem also suggested that the recorded Standard Work be presented as a visual sheet that allows management and others to see the status of tasks and also to allow for smoother handover between shifts.

In summarising the key role of supervisor standard work Hakeem said it was “Doing the right thing at the right time in the right way to Achieve the Desired Performance”.

You can view Hakeem presentation below: