Experience is shared by Ausra Antanaviciene, UAB "Kitron" HR manager
Where did you start Your road to LEAN?
I discovered LEAN 8 years ago when I was working in Danish capital company which produced clothes and furniture.
I liked LEAN system due to its simplicity. Even without having a lot of theoretical knowledge about LEAN, the workers can rapidly understand the logics of tools. After beginning to practice it ,they found a lot of improvements without even understanding how they lived without them. This is what inspired me.
It is not only a production management system — it is the culture of organization, based on accountability and trust among workers and managers. After attending KATA COACH 2013 programme I realised that daily management is a missing link that makes a great change in the company.
What have you observed at GEMBA?
Being HR manager I started noticing gaps in daily communication. You hear about activities in third level meetings however they do not reach the first level. I see the open questions used by managers to indulge teams in the reach of today’s goal, the amount of activities and improvements per day, etc. Improvement of collaboration, communication is my field of expertise thus I can work easily.
Process indicators was a new field to me. However, it became clearer when we received GEMBA standard, which lists the analysis of indicators and PDCA activities by using open questions. Then it is easier to trace the sequence of how the indicator is related to other indicators, what kind of value it brings to the staff, how it is measured and where it comes from.
We have noticed the gaps in indicators and PDCA actions.
“From other managers and employees I have received remarks that I should go to the production floor more often. Gemba standard and the following of its schedule gave me a good reason to go to the production floor often.”
What is the purpose of going to GEMBA?
I understand the goal of this standard as brushing your teeth every morning. In 2015, we as an organisation started to participate in daily management system. Four managers became internal coaches whose goal is to observe the development of our discipline, its gray zones, where communication is late, how the indicators allow us to collaborate among departments, etc.
We observe all morning meetings in all 4 levels according to the schedule. After the meeting we provide feedback to the manager and by applying coaching-mentoring method (which is included in our GEMBA standard) we give the manager questions which help him assess which indicators are valuable to the team, what actions are “late” and if he needs help from LEAN department in assessing the reasons of problems. It sometimes occurs that annual goals of the department do not correlate with real daily indicators.
Daily management should not depend on consultants, general director or production manager. It is everyone’s responsibility. Our GEMBA standard was created for us to learn from each other and improve our daily discipline.
How did your view towards traditional teaching in class changed after teaching in workplace?
We did not know what to do next with our internal leadership programme which helps teaching managers’ situational leadership, motivation and change management. Since the teaching is performed in class, we faced a difficulty in ensuring that the managers will apply their knowledge in workplace. How to measure the value of teaching in class? How do managers use their knowledge in practice? When asked that question the answer is often “I intended to use, but I did not know how”. Now I can see how the manager whom I taught applies his skills in daily management discipline. And I can also provide feedback: “remember when we learned about things that can be applied in this situation?” Our internal leadership programme was integrated into our daily management programme for managers. They complement each other. Our managers receive a specific tool which helps them motivate a person, include him into activities and manage changes. Principles of situational leadership also complement daily management discipline.
THREE AUSRA'S ADVICE FOR INTERNAL TRAINERS IN COMPANIES:
- EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON OUR ACTIONS. DO NOT THINK OF BEING AFRAID, SIMPLY DO IT. YOU WILL NEVER BE A 100 % READY.
- DON’T BE AFRAID TO ADMIT THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW OR DO NOT UNDERSTAND SOMETHING AND THEN ASK QUESTIONS. PEOPLE LIKE BEING RESPECTED AND BEING PAID ATTENTION TO.
- YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KNOW ALL THE INDICATORS, DO NOT NEED TO FORCE A NEW INDICATOR TO MANAGERS. YOU SIMPLY NEED TO OBSERVE, LISTEN, ASK AND PROVIDE FEEDBACK. MANAGERS KNOW BETTER THE THINGS THAT THEY WISH TO IMPROVE.