How Many People Should You Have in a Daily Huddle?

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 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 will 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 are 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 can answer the question.” This will help you expose whether your organization is organized around silos and kingdoms or the customer end-to-end. The more people you need to answer questions, the more likely you are 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 will become more focused on having a decision-maker. Once you start following Toyota Principles, the number of voices you will 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 would 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