Leader Standard Work Routines — An Overview

By definition, a team leader is someone who leads people to hit certain goals. To be truly successful, this person needs to implement Leader Standard Work (LSW) routines in their daily operations.

This article focuses on how a team leader incorporates LSW to ensure maximum productivity, quality, and profitability around your factory.

What is Leader Standard Work (LSW) and why is it relevant for the team leader?

Leader Standard Work is a set of management practices focusing on implementing effective routinary tasks to achieve operational excellence.

Implementing Leader Standard Work (LSW) routines is vital for the person in charge to manage a team with different moving parts, such as human resources, production processes, and working methods.

The team leader responsible for implementing LSW is part of an organised model with a pre-established hierarchy. 

If the hierarchy works well and is clearly defined and respected, then the factory will also work to the best of its ability. The team leader plays a very important role when it comes to providing the factory with good results.

What are the features of a good team leader?

Before even thinking about implementing Leader Standard Work, a good team leader must display a strong set of both personal and professional skills. Some of these skills include:

  • Having a great in-depth knowledge of the technical expertise needed to lead their team successfully
  • Knowing how to create appropriate work standards suited to their team
  • Having their team’s respect
  • Being able to further train their team members according to their different skill sets
  • Managing their area successfully at different levels, such as quality, cost, human resources, etc
  • Displaying empathetic traits and behaving calmly and constructively

What are the main responsibilities of a team leader implementing Leader Standard Work?

The responsibilities of the team leader go beyond managing their team. They need to be able to manage their area successfully as well as hit the strategic goals of the organisation. 

Some of the key responsibilities of the team leader implementing LSW are:

  • Managing their team autonomously
  • Hitting their targets in all areas, such as quality, cost, production, or human resources
  • To standardise, observe, and enforce continuous improvement processes when it comes to production, control, and maintenance
  • To develop their team’s skills by acting as a coach
  • To optimise the working conditions of its area of responsibility, highlighting safety and practicality

How does a team leader use Leader Standard Work to implement measures to standardise managing practices??

A team leader implements LSW by standardising daily tasks through routines.

When it comes to these routines, two main elements come into play: a visual management dashboard and consolidating said routines during each work shift.

In the case of the visual management dashboard, it needs updating daily to show the state of the QCT and HR indicators.

To implement daily work routines effectively, there are a few steps to follow:

  • Decide which were the top 5 problems that need fixing during the shift
  • Hold a 5-minute meeting with the incoming team leader to explain what the Top 5 issues are
  • The incoming team leader reviews the data coming from machines that need addressing and analyses the shift on site (Gemba Walk). Gemba Walks are more efficient when you talk to operators, observe inefficiencies, or address anomalies through the SCR (Symptom, Cause, Remedy) method
  • If you need to, escalate some problems to the supporting departments following the company hierarchy

How does a team leader implement LSW measures to standardise shopfloor management? 

One of the team leader’s responsibilities when it comes to plan management is to effectively communicate what is happening in real-time on the shifts.

This kind of control over the plant helps to identify and deal with problems that may be preventing hitting the goals set.

A good team leader shares relevant job information with the incoming one, ideally in front of the visual management panel.

After the meeting between the team leaders, a set of standardised routines (LSW) organised by the incoming team leader needs to be completed. These routines are:

  • Meet with the incoming team for 5 minutes to pass on the daily instructions
  • Observe the workstations of the APU (Autonomous Production Unit)
  • Ensure that all APUs have the human and technical resources they need to work properly, as well as to arrange and execute the work according to the production plan
  • Check absences and delays
  • Observe jobs and revise or create standards if necessary 
  • Identify anomalies about the 5S 
  • Set aside time to resolve incidents

To carry out plant management on the second management level (with the workshop manager), a meeting takes place in the QRQC room, and it involves activities such as:

  • Reviewing daily indicators at shop floor level, especially priority lines when implementing objectives, such as OEE efficiency, customer incidents, or losses in production means
  • Tackling the problems chosen by the workshop manager (QRQC)
  • Team leader coaching to improve skills and performance
  • Managing plant maintenance and preventive maintenance resources
  • Checking the polyvalence plan —ideally, once a week—
  • Communicating the new polyvalence status to the team leader of the workshop —once a week, ideally— 

How does a team leader implement LSW measures to standardise the process of setting objectives?

Management sets the objectives and they communicate them along the reporting line.

This process is regulated through the company’s Master Plan or Hoshin Kanri, which integrates a standardised working methodology

It also ensures there are set priorities for executing action plans effectively and efficiently.

What tools does a team leader wanting to implement Leader Standard Work need?

One of the fundamental tools for the team leader is the Gemba Walk, as most of their tasks happen in the field. 

The best way to make this effective and successful is by giving the team leader access to digital tools. 

The right set of digital tools helps your leader oversee all the tasks they’re responsible for, as well as standardise operations — using visual standards— and manage their team performance through the skill matrix.

It is also important that the team leader observes the workstations, manages maintenance activities, processes monitoring (TPM) and, finally, improves the workstations through Kaizen.

Why should the team leader use Leader Standard Work to standardise routine work?

When you standardise daily work, you get higher quality processes and products, but that’s not just it.

By standardising daily operations, your team leader prioritises people and results, avoids disjointed teams, reduces the number of problems related to manufacturing, and makes sure everyone’s trained to the same standard.

mlean® and Leader Standard Work

mlean® digitalises all the bureaucratic processes that a team leader has to go through, streamlining their work and making their daily routines easier.

Our mlean® Production System (mPS) brings with it a number of important advantages when it comes to implementing LSW routines faster and more effectively

mPS is a very complete and flexible digital toolkit that helps you:

  • Reduce time spent on administrative tasks by up to 25% 
  • Increase time spent on continuous plant improvement (creating standards, troubleshooting, improving maintenance plans, or job observations)
  • Achieve operational excellence consistently
  • Monitor all tasks and teams in one single dashboard
  • Contribute to the environment thanks to our zero-paper approach

We have developed our software from more than 30 years of real-field experience in different types of industries.

This makes mlean® uniquely positioned as a digital tool that combines years of operational experience with digital innovation that facilitates daily factory operations.

If you want to see what our software can do for you and your factory, take a look at our free demo ― you definitely won’t regret it!

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