How Daily Huddles Help Organizations Achieve Flow

In the fall of 2020, Kaas Tailored hosted a series of Zoom calls unpacking our Daily Management System (DMS). Each month we focused on a different element of our DMS, starting with strategy, then discussing daily huddles, then talking about Visual Management Systems (VMS), and ending with Leader Standard Work. In this post, Jeff explains how huddles help organizations achieve flow.

What is a Huddle?

First off, what is a huddle? A huddle is a meeting of all the necessary people in a particular system that happens daily, weekly, or monthly to remove blocks and keep information flowing. It’s sometimes hard to see how people get blocked from creating value or working in flow. Things like the 7 Wastes get in the way of flow. It’s easy to look at the flow of a piece of furniture and see what can block it. It’s harder to identify what stops flow for team members. The whole purpose of a huddle is to ensure that value creation never stops. The moment that value creation stops, the problem gets escalated to the next level of authority so that everyone can get back to working as quickly as possible. 

What is the Goal of Daily Huddles?

Our friends at Nordstrom shared their journey of implementing Daily Huddles. Many organizations struggle with implementing Daily Huddles. Often they haven’t identified the goal of that huddle: to make sure that value is created. 

At Kaas Tailored, we have tiered huddles. At the beginning of the day, the teams closest to the work on the shop floor meet since they know what’s going on, and they work together to remove any blocks. After this, the next set of leaders do the same, using the information from the first huddle and remove any remaining blocks. Then, during the last daily huddle, the leadership team meets and finds ways to remove any blocks that remain.

If you’re wondering how many people should be in each huddle, the answer is simple. The lowest number of people possible while ensuring work never gets blocked.

How do I Know My Daily Huddles are Working?

The most important part of Daily Huddles is getting to a point where you know that there is a time every day or a few times a week where you can meet together and make sure that nothing is stuck. When you take the time to set up Daily Huddles, you will find value being created faster than ever. 

If you’d like to learn more about how to implement a Daily Management System within your organization, or more about Kaizen and Continuous Improvement, consider signing up for a Kaas Tailored Waste Tour