How Many People Should You Have in a Huddle?

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. Today, Jeff answers the question, “How many people should you have in a huddle?”

How many people should you have in your Daily Huddle? The answer is the lowest number of people possible while ensuring work never gets blocked. Another way of saying that is the lowest number of people while ensuring someone can always answer the question, from end-to-end. End-to-end thinking allows you to think of everything from the moment the customer has an idea to the moment the product gets delivered. 

Why Do Some Organizations Need Larger Huddles?

Some organizations are organized around the thinking of silos and batches. They’ll need 70-80 people to do end-to-end thinking. Other organizations are designed around the customer, end-to-end, and need fewer people.  

Not sure how you’re organized? Think about who needs to be in your huddle like this, “We will never let value creation stop. There will always be someone who is able to answer the question.” This will help you expose whether your organization is organized around silos and kingdoms or around the customer end-to-end. The more people you need to answer questions, the more likely you’re organized around silos and batches. 

How Can I Move From Larger to Smaller Huddles?

As you start applying continuous improvement principles to the structure of your business, you’ll become more focused on having a decision-maker. As you start following Toyota Principles, the number of voices you’ll need end-to-end will shrink dramatically. At Kaas Tailored, our current number is nine. I think it should be about 11. In a larger company, it’s probably less than 20.

If you enjoyed this post, you can watch the complete Zoom Conversation here. If you’d like to learn more about Daily Huddles, sign up for our November 11th Zoom Call, follow along with this series, and consider signing up for a Virtual Waste Tour.