Does Kaas Tailored Have a Strategic Plan Document?

This fall, we are going to be hosting a series of Zoom Calls (register here, they’re free) unpacking Kaas Tailored’s Daily Management System (DMS). Each month we will dive into a different element of our DMS so that you can start to see what it takes to build a DMS. This month, we are talking about strategy and how starting with the right strategy will set your team up for success when it comes to adopting a DMS. Today, Jeff shares how Kaas Tailored uses a visual approach to documenting strategy.

Do we have a strategic plan document? Absolutely not. This is an area where I am super weak. At Kaas Tailored, the reality of our business is that we have everything on the wall, and this is intentional. We use a Visual Management System (VMS). Our Visual Management System is based on one of our values: that we want to know and show the truth. We know that human beings can take in a lot of information through their eyes, so we put our plans on the walls, so our team can know the truth. 

Our Visual Strategic Plan

In an earlier post, I shared that this year my goal for the team was to cut the time it takes us to create value by 75%. With our plan on the wall, our team can be working every day, in little bits, on cutting the lead time by 75%. Practically, this looks like attending a Zoom meeting or a live Kata coaching session where there’s a report back every day. 

Our Living Breathing Strategic Plan

I used to spend time doing big plans. We’d fight for hours. We’d have this batch plan that we thought was going to be awesome. And to be honest, we found that we weren’t very good at predicting the future. So, when I would put in writing, this is the plan for the year, it wasn’t something that was living and breathing. 

A strategic plan works through the implementation of a Daily Management System. This tool can help communicate, “This is the direction we are going. Are you experimenting in that direction?” And the expectation is not that you have cut costs by 10%, but that you did 10 experiments in the last two weeks. We have to think about roots and fruits. I think the fruit of a financial target, which might be something that we desperately need to accomplish, is governed by what we do at the roots. 

A Strategic Story

When I say we are weak at this, I mean that we are not like other business people. We don’t have a plan that executes out, but we do have a vision of what good looks like. Our vision is more of a story. Part of our process, when we do kick off something new, is that the program manager writes a story that says, “it is five or ten years from now, and this is what awesome looks like on this.” We are trying to embed that into the thinking. But we want this to be visual, experiential, and know and show the truth through our strategy, as opposed to being document-driven.

If you’d like to learn more about creating a strategy for your DMS, follow along with this series, and consider signing up for a Virtual Waste Tour.