How Kaas Tailored Uses A Daily Management System

In last week’s post, we answered the question, “What is a Daily Management System.” Simply put, a Daily Management System are the things we do every day, week, month, every quarter, and annually to make sure that we know the truth. The whole goal of this system is to make sure that we are creating value and that that value creation never stops. We call that flow. There are four parts to our DMS. We call them strategy, huddles, a Visual Management System, and Leader Standard Work. This week, Jeff takes us a closer look at how Kaas Tailored uses their Daily Management System.

Start with Strategy

Strategy comes from the corner office. At Kaas Tailored, strategy is the most important thing when it comes to creating a Daily Management System because it answers the question, “where are we going?” If you don’t know where you’re going, you could be having a lot of meetings about nothing. At Kaas Tailored, it’s my responsibility to not only declare who we want to be when we grow up as a company, but it’s also my job to give some of the key guardrails for decision making. Those come in the form of beliefs, policies, or challenges that I give to the organization. It’s really important that your strategy is very consistent in one direction. In a lot of companies, it’s normal for the strategy to shift every time a boss changes or every time the boss reads a new book.

At Kaas Tailored, our strategy has been all about growing people by eliminating waste. And that’s been our strategy for most of my lifetime. We are getting better about explaining our values like know and show the truth, improve every day, and best for our best. We live and die by this idea that we want to shine our light in our community, which is exactly why you’re here today. Hopefully, we can be a blessing to you, and you can turn what we share with you into something valuable for the people in your life.

A specific example that I’ve given as a challenge to the team currently is, please take the current time it takes to create value of any kind and cut it by 75%. So if we want to grow a leader to run an area of our business, if it takes us three years, I want it to happen in ten months. If it currently takes us twenty-five minutes to get data to answer a question, I want to get to the point where it takes us about 7.

Daily Management System and Tiered Huddles

The next step in our Daily Management System is a tired huddle structure. A tiered huddle is a way to create one-piece flow for information, ideas, and project management, like the one-piece flow we have in place for the products we make.

The way we achieve one-piece flow for information at Kaas Tailored is through our tiered huddle structure. Our standard format for huddles is: help, share, appreciate, and what are you doing today. For example, if you work in the woodshop, every morning you have a short huddle, and the huddle answers the following questions, “What help do you need? What would you like to share? What are you doing today?” and go over any appreciations.

After that meeting, the leaders of multiple departments get together, and then I attend one at 7:30 every day. So from 7:30-7:55 every day, we have a tired huddle. During this huddle, we talk about everything from the moment the customer has an idea to the moment the product gets delivered, and we call it an end-to-end discussion. The whole idea is for us to know the truth, and these are the habits that we have, and we want to make sure that there’s never a time where value creation is blocked. That’s what the huddle is for. It’s about applying one-piece flow thinking to information.

How Kaas Tailored Incorporates a Visual Management System

The third section of our DMS is the Visual Management System (VMS). Visual management is all baked into science. Science proves that once human beings see something, they get it. If you ever go on a tour of our factory at Kaas Tailored, you can stand in the middle of the factory and with television screens, you can see the status of any department with your eyes. You can see the status of every worker, every workgroup, and their year-to-date. You can also observe if there is inventory or not. The idea of human beings always knowing the truth so that they can move forward is the power of a VMS. You also see visual management in the way that we try to communicate our ideas. There are whiteboards everywhere so that everyone involved in a conversation is sure to understand what is going on.

How Kaas Tailored is Learning about Leader Standard Work

The last element is Leader Standard Work. I didn’t realize that I had Leader Standard Work in place until reflecting with our friends at Nordstrom. I do have standard work for my day which consists of content, sequence, timing, and outcome expected. What I mean by that is when I wake up in the morning, I’m a pretty rotten guy. I’m already thinking bad things. So I start the morning watching the sunrise, looking for what I call the airshow (the birds that fly at sunrise), reading the Bible, praying, and reflecting. If I don’t do my time there every day, I behave horribly for the rest of the day. So if I am to create value in the world, I start there with what I call “Coffee and Christ.”

After that, I want to do a little bit of my own creative time alone, so coffee then creative. Wherever my head is, I want to do a little reflection and be thinking about what is important to me today. What has somehow arrived in my brain. It usually is caused by something I learned the day before.

The third step in my day is collaboration, and there is a schedule for this. I want to wake up, do my coffee and creative, and then have some time to reflect on what I’ve been thinking about, and I do that daily with Oz or Jamie. We just say, “Hey what’s on your mind? What’d you wake up with?” A lot of times, after sleeping after a rotten day, there is something awesome that happens that next morning. It’s important to just take time to listen to that.

Then the fourth thing is jumping into my daily huddle call, which is where I focus on the today stuff. What I know about myself from a Leader Standard Work perspective is that today always wins. I tend to get very hijacked on that call because today is a little bit stressful. You’re not calling and talking about all the awesome things that are happening, although sometimes we do. Very frequently, we’re talking about things that are going sideways. I’ll often go for a walk during that call so that I can let my body have a little bit of air while I’m freaking out.

If you enjoyed this post, you can watch the complete Zoom Conversation here. This fall, we’re hosting a series of Zoom Calls (register here, they’re free) unpacking Kaas Tailored’s Daily Management System (DMS). Each month we’ll dive into a different element of our DMS, so that you can start to see what it takes to build a DMS.