How Yesterday Informs Tomorrow

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 shares how looking at yesterday can help makes plans for tomorrow.

Thinking Model: Today, Tomorrow, Day-After-Tomorrow

At Kaas Tailored, we use the “today, tomorrow, day-after-tomorrow” thinking model to help us with the idea of time frame. When we say today, we mean the current operational needs such as production, entering orders, and dealing with escalations. Tomorrow work refers to activities related to future business needs, typically, the next 6 days to 6 months, which includes coaching, continuous improvement, and adding capabilities. Day-after-tomorrow activities are focused on the long-term future of the organization, the next 1 to 10 years, and includes selecting the “music” and identifying future risks and capabilities. But what about yesterday?

How Yesterday Informs Tomorrow

The day-after-tomorrow work that I do includes spending time looking at the day before yesterday. History contains lessons that shape my day-after-tomorrow plan. I can ask, “What happened when the railroads came in? What happened when the engine came in?” I can look at history and say, “What was the network effect of that?” And history really informs the future. The tomorrow work we do is informed by yesterday. Accounting, a yesterday art, is an autopsy if you will. That does inform tomorrow. It helps us identify if we hit our gross margin last month. And if not, what are we doing next month? 

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