In this episode, I talk with Muhammad Khurram from Pakistan about Lean Daily Management Systems. Muhammad and I discuss the importance of daily management to support sustainment of improvement initiatives for any lean journey.
Muhammad Khurram has a vast amount of experience as an agile Industrial Engineer in a diverse range of industries; within these different industries, he has worked on Production Planning & Control, Cost reduction, effective resource capacity utilization, and has experience with the Toyota Production System. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and has a strong expertise in Lean Manufacturing and process accuracy.
He is a highly resourceful and strategically agile Industrial Engineer with over 15 years’ experience in diverse range of industries like FMCG, Automotive & Textile. He has in-depth knowledge and experience working in Production Planning & Control, Cost reduction, effective resource utilization, Toyota Production System and Capacity enhancement. As a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Muhammad has strong expertise on Lean Manufacturing and process accuracy. He has proven ability to establish engineering systems to achieve efficient operations with an emphasis on manufacturing processes.
Welcome to the Lean solutions podcast where we discuss business solutions to help listeners develop and implement action plans for true Lean process improvement. I am your host, Patrick Adams. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Lean solutions podcast. Our guest today is Mohammed Karam. Mohammed has a vast amount of experience as an agile industrial engineer in a diverse range of industries. Within these different industries, he’s worked on production planning, cost reduction, effective resource capacity, utilization, and has experience with the Toyota Production System. He’s also a certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and has strong expertise in lean manufacturing, and process accuracy. Welcome to the show, Mohamed.
Thank you, Patrick. It’s nice talking to you. And it’s pleasure that you are doing a wonderful job and doing the Lean professional at your platform. And also, we are learning from professional and this is a very nice platform to learn from you.
Well, thank you so much, I appreciate that. And I love the fact that we can have these types of conversations when the two of us are on opposite sides of the world, right? Different cultures, different teams that we’re working with. So it’s just great to be able to have these types of conversations with other experts in their industry like yourself. So for our listeners who are listening in, they probably don’t know much about you or even where you are in the world. You’re calling in from Pakistan, correct? Yes. Okay. Can you tell us just a little bit about yourself Mohammed a little bit about yourself and your background.
Actually, I have overall 15 year experience of versatile industries. And I have done my master in Industrial Engineering and Management and learn about all the techniques about Lehman fracturing, how to improve the productivity, how to reduce the waste, how to handle the people management for other tools. So, I have overall experience of multiple industries and sectors. So very well familiar about the techniques, because some of the techniques you know, that are not fit for every industry not fit for every processes. So, I have started my career from automobile industry. And if you can say that, if anyone wants to know actually about lean manufacturing or industrial engineering, so, automobile is you can say that the best platform automobile is the best working environment where you can practically see how to implement that guys and how to implement the Poka Yoke okay, how to implement the five why analysis. So, this is the right and real working environment where you can learn a lot of things because you know, that Toyota Production System is all and lean manufacturing also came from the beginning it starts from that Toyota industry. So, then I have another company and another big multinational company, Unilever, Pakistan, and I have work to do. So, we have seen that we are we have learned about FMCG practices, you can see that the Lean Six Sigma practices, we have seen here, TPM methodology, how working in these industries, and then working with that textile industry, I have learned that how to reduce the waste, how to add, the Philip can kill your work, how to work on single minute exchange of dies.
Very nice. Well, obviously, a vast amount of experience and not just in the automotive industry, but now in textile and and so that’s exciting. And obviously, you’ve been able to work in lots of different industries and apply lean methodologies in those different industries. One of the things that I wanted to talk with you about specifically, is daily management, because daily management is such an important fundamental piece of a Lean culture. And it also helps us to sustain a Lean culture. And so I want to talk with you about your experience with daily management, lean daily management specifically. And I guess let’s start by maybe first talking about, you know, the difference between lean daily management and maybe traditional management of, you know, how people are managing their business, what would you say, you know, as an introduction, what is lean daily management and how is it maybe a little bit different than what some companies would consider, you know, traditional management of their operations.
Perfect, that’s a very nice question and maybe some one of our listeners hear first time about Lean daily management system. So if we talk about a traditional lean system, traditional C lean systems that you actually working around on chi exam, you’re working on a via gamble the all the new techniques on ad hoc basis, you have not any system you just go to the production floor and start Kaizen, you just start gamba you have just to start working on seven QC tool. So, this is the traditional lean when lean started this started like this. And by the time being by experts, they are add on some things and they are adding values and make a system. Now, that is the time it is the time that you have seen that after a long time, God is a system who can run the lean tool Lean management who cannot start lean on a very traditional way like you can give the ball on the floor you start streaming and you just start the Kaizen No, actually lean system is say that we have the various cool like you can say that the how to implement the Poka Yoke Okay, where it is legal to implemented either Poka Yoke Okay, is it feasible at that process or not? So, Lean management system works on two things. One is that your system must be well viewable for the customer, because you are working for someone you are working with customer. So lean daily management system have tells you that you have a system, you have a hierarchy, you have a complete document that how you can work lean tool, how you can drive the lean methodology in your production floor. So traditional system is working on specifically lean tool, but Lean Management System interlink one tool to another, for example, how to link seven QC tool with firewire analysis, how to use and on system with Kaizen, how do you use the guidance system with your lean six sigma projects. So this is the major difference to our Lean traditional system and Lean management system. In one line, I can say that if you want to real implement the Lean system, first, you know, or you can implement the Lean daily management system, otherwise you cannot survive.
So true in my experience as well, from a sustainment perspective, and I’ve worked with a lot of companies where different leaders come into an operation, and they bring their own management style are their own leadership style, right, and they come in and they just start changing things thinking you know, that they’re going to make a difference, you know, with their, whatever their management style is. And the unfortunate thing is that what happens is there’s so much instability, then that’s gets introduced into into the the operation that it causes them to not be able to connect with, you know, the date the improvements that the you can’t improve chaos, right. So when you’re continuously bringing in these different management styles, without a system, and that’s what I wanted to come back to is, the system is the key, you mentioned system multiple times, if leaders are coming into a system, they can still bring in their leadership style, and add their their own, you know, spin on things. But if there’s a system that creates the stability and the connection to the tools, because it’s not just about coming out and rolling tools out into your organization, these Lean tools that have been proven to be successful, it’s also about making the connection between you know, improvement and how the tools can help you get there, like you said, so the system is the key. You know, I think I talked about this a few weeks back. But, you know, so many leaders nowadays are not staying in positions longer than, you know, three to five years at the most. And so in three to five years, they’re they’re coming in and they’re just changing as much as they can to make the biggest impact they can in three years. And if you don’t have a solid daily management system in place, that can create a lot of instability in the operation. Hello, everybody. I hate to interrupt this episode of the lean solutions podcast, but I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to my book, avoiding the continuous appearance trap, and instead of you hearing from me, I’d like for you to hear from Paul Akers, author of two second lean and his thoughts around the book
Lean is for 2% of the people in the world. There are an awful lot of posts errs out there. People that do Lean because they’re mandated to do it, they think it will work. But there are very few people that embrace lean with their full heart had an emotion to create a true Lean culture, one that is not full of posers and posturing, but full of authentically when they have total participation from everyone in the organization, Patrick’s book uncovers the essence of what those organizations look like, and what the posers look like caution, are you in the fake zone, or the real zone?
Thanks so much, Paul. If you’d like to get your copy of avoiding the continuous appearance trap, you can go to Amazon or you can go to avoid continuous appearance.com. Grab your copy there. Now, back to the show, Mohamed what would you say are the objectives of a good lean daily management system what are the the the objectives that need to be considered when we are applying a good lean daily management system?
Actually, perfect you have a very right and valid observation that you see in the organization, there is some turnover, we have seen that in every organization, we have some turnover. And what’s the what’s going on that project is going on as per the schedule as per their timeline like six month project or a nine month project or maybe maybe one year or two year long term projects like productivity improvement or commissions. So, actually, what we have highlighted actually, this is the problem if anyone left during the running business or you can running projects and someone new indicated and half of the work or you can say a quarter of the work already has been done. So, the new one can join and leave this project on the same pace. So, the core function of the lean daily management system is that you keep continuing to drive that that culture in the same systematic form. So that you can say that mean overall framework, but if he specifically says that, what are the objectives so, here are the two objectives of Lean daily management system. One is that your system you are working on that system that adds value that add value to your customer, because everyone is working for someone and you’re working for the customer. So, this is one of the key objective that your system is adding value to the customer. For example, customer asking about good packaging, customer asking about reduction in complaints, customer asking about more improvement in terms of time on time delivery. So your system is ready and feasible to fulfill the customer need or you can say that requirement at any time. Now, what is the second objective? secondary objective is that your system, your processes are then a good and well systemized to your organization, because you have some budgets, you have some operational costs. So everyone is working in either two ways one is going that’s working for customer and second one is for profitability. So lean systems, increase your profitability, if you are continually working on improvement. So, if we summarize that what are the Lean objective? One is you have the systematic values, systematic approaches, systematic processes for your customer. And vice versa. Your systems is not adding your operational cost, not adding your manufacturing costs to it, you have the system to reduce down to your cost by reducing manufacturing costs by reducing waste by reducing some other Lean
tools. Very nice. So when you say when we when we call it a lean daily management system, we’re titling it as a lean daily management system, right? Not a Lean management system. Why? Why do you think it’s important to add the word daily in there? Why not? do a weekly or a monthly management system? Why does it need to be a daily management system?
Patrick, you know that I have some time ago seen, of course, in Siena article that if you add simply 1% value in your system on a daily basis, add a month and you will add 30% value. So lean says that lean doesn’t say that you need to invent something different. Lean doesn’t says that reinvent the wheel, right? Lean simply says that what are you doing? Just improve this, what are you achieving, for example, if you are achieving 95%, or doubling on daily basis, overall equipment effectiveness, lean says that just achieve 95.1% Right, on another day, you will achieve 95.2% You doesn’t achieve 96% In our week, in a month or without any planning, but in a lean daily management system, you are improving point 1.1 point 1% on daily basis, and so on. But key actions actually dot word daily in using this system is the beauty is that deal is some activities, some actions, some checklists, is applicable in this system that you are doing daily. Otherwise, what is going on, it’s going to traditional angry management system. So that’s the difference that you are using 1% point 1% point 2% Something a little bit contribution on daily basis.
That’s right. And I love that you that you remind us about that point, one that it doesn’t have to be, you know, a full percentage point like and the purpose behind that is just remembering that it doesn’t have to be huge improvements that small little improvements every single day can add up to big change. Right. And that’s the key. And that’s why, you know, the point one is so important, don’t feel like you have to well, we can’t introduce an improvement or a change unless it’s this big massive project, no little small things on a daily basis will add up to big change over time. So, I love that you reminded us of that thank you so much Mohammed what would you say for someone that is maybe new to lean daily management, what are the key elements that they need to consider when developing a good lean daily management system within their organization?
Okay, Patrick before going to key elements are reminding you to or something first of all, I will give you the real time example of about improvement that will explain that point 1%
real time example that I am working with a client and they say that we have 2.1% Waste overall in my system and my team, the systematic team says that this is the end limit that we cannot reduce the waste from 2.1%. So, I have done with I have worked with that team. And we have again start working on that and you can we are monitoring waste on daily lean daily management system by we are following this system and you know we are starting working on point 001. So, the team really surprised that what is the impact of point 001 Right. So, after 10 days, this point 001 comes 2.01 After 20 days this one, so, after one month, we just reduced 2.1 to 2%. So, this is the beauty of Lean management system. If anything is not achievable anything you are saying that this is very difficult. You just simply adopt the Lean daily management system and see the improvement this is like you can say that our turtle improvement turtle like small here you will have seen that improvement is not now moving toward question that if anyone This is a new, and if we explain what is lean daily management, the key elements is that there are four key elements that we are using in this system. Or you can say that these are the pillar of Lean daily management system. What are these pillars? One is lean standard work, lean standard work is, you can say that one of the pillar, Voice of the Customer is the second pillar, leadership discipline, your top management is the third pillar of the, you can say that the of the this system and download one most important thing, that’s why we are calling it daily management is daily accountability. So, these are the four pillars that we are using in this Lean daily management system to implement, to sustain to continue to improve by just focusing on these four key
parameters. Very nice. So, when you say that the daily management is the most important, what does that look like from a, from a huddle perspective? I guess for me, you know, we teach tiered meetings, sometimes people call them daily huddles sometimes, it’s just a quick you know, Team stand up meeting, what would you say is, you know, the importance of the daily huddle or the daily standup meeting and, you know, how do you handle those
actually, Patrick, when I have visited to multiple customers, and meeting with the clients, this says that, we have one of the biggest issues is communication. And they have all the system like, they have the WhatsApp where I have the messenger, they have the emails, they have called each and everything is available, but, again, they are saying that we have the communication problem. So, then we have analyzed their system, dear communication, dear to meeting is not aligned, this is very important that you’re below line front worker, what they are facing, what they are saying what they want to improve is same complicated to you the top line management, it is very important, but we have seen that in most of the industries we in most of the system. So, at some level this communication, this information is break, I’ll give you another real practical example. In this case, when a company says that we have a communication problem, so, what we have done, we have seen the TR meeting, they are also doing or via they are doing daily production meeting, they are dealing follow up meeting XYZ they all are going but what is the missing is that enough floor level meeting Action Point is somewhat communicated to the middle management like managers shop floor supervisor. So, about 100% issues from bottom from floor worker 70% is communicated to the middle management 30% You can say that eliminate at XYZ again, from this 70% Only 30% You can say that communicate it to plant manager general managers at at this level. And you can believe that only 10% communicated to top management. And there’s a reason the top management says that everything is going perfect, but you know from bottom line there is 10 point race and on the top management only one point. So, this is the reason that the TR meeting is not aligned. So, it is very important to the organization that what our The point is raise whatever the issue is raised is equally communicated to the concern who will be responsible or who you can say that will resolve this issue. So, Lee the standard framework provide a platform that vn double root causes. When the problem occurs, this will automatically drive to the concern person what who is the responsible of this problem or who can solve this problem from Adzick you can say that lead this problem from occurrence to actual provide this platform.
Sure, and I’ve seen a lot of companies that try to implement a tiered communication system, but have struggled with it in your experience Mohamed Have you worked with any companies that have struggled to pass that communication up and if so, what what what would you say would be maybe some tactics that organizations can use that team members can use to help improve that communication system and make sure that there are owners for action items that there are due dates that people are passing communication up to the proper level, and that escalation is happening at the proper level?
Yes, this is a decision you can say that one of the pain point or you can see the pain point of the industry’s actually in in this VR using charities one is to time and third one is you can say that they are who we are who is okay. So, if any problem if you can see that, this this problem are facing by the organization or company, we are using some daily management tools like this system is called Lean daily management first of all, V us attendance system. For example, yesterday, we have communicated some problem to Person X next and this x person is not available or you can say that some x was that they sent another assistant, we are using its minutes of meeting we are we have made we are making a law, this law shows this problem raised by XYZ department for consequences they are facing, who will be the responsible to solve this issue. And at the end, there is a timeline for example, this is not running till one month, two months or X was that mostly we have seen in our organization seen that this problem, our worry basic problem, just need a simple tool box and the machine and and operator is crying since last three months, because what is what is the main reason that they are not getting the toolbox, there’s two reasons who will respond who will provide the toolbox not communicated to that one. And second one is timeline, there is no timeline, if you have a system or a have a project with no timeline, then it means that there is no limit to run this project. So, those are the key points, where we can we can use this and second most important thing, we will link this with some tangible benefit. For example, if I am adding a tool box at the machine, we will say that our mechanic per minute, five minutes we can reduce. So, this will be attracted to the end user that if what are the tangible benefit of this move in most of the cases we have the tangible, but in some of the cases we have no tangible benefit to some other benefit like fibers improvement like XYZ improvement, more all improvement products. So this is the main you can see that main points of this.
Very nice. They the one of the things that you’ve mentioned frequently is leadership involvement and engagement and even as one of the pillars and we all know that leadership behaviors and actions have a huge bearing on whether or not lean systems are going to be successful or not right. Where do you think that Leader Standard Work fits into this and who should have Leader Standard Work.
So, actually, Patrick MVC that if we want to run a system, if we want to achieve the goal through any system, leadership, involvement, leadership commitment is very important. And in these lean daily management system, leadership, commitment is also very important, how we can how we can relate this, I will give you the again In our practical example of my past company, I have seen God we are the same that fiber system of most of the companies is not up to the mark only fibers doing in during any audit fibers maintaining on any visit or fibers visit on weekly basis just as a habit, but in the real time fibers in your DNA, how you can do that, I have seen a company CEO and they are doing and he is doing fibers audit by himself. I haven’t seen any CEO to do this fibers audit by himself. So, this is his commitment, his involvement his ownership, that he wants to make 95% is foreign fibers, that’s why he is involved in this and and here the schedule for example, every week he visits one unit and do the fibers of their emphasis surprise audit. So, when I visit debt company, really you can I am surprising that game finances beyond the limit, but we are taught leadership is not involved dear fibres is comparatively not good as compared to that company. Now, moving towards the question that how leadership involvement we can do in this Lean management system in your lean daily management system, dir is a system that shows the dirty job description of every one in contribution of Lee improvement, for example, our shop floor manager daily with it and highlight doubt waste or any any you can say that improve productivity improvement point. Either either it is achievable or not. But it’s focused on that he will specifically visit for five minutes for 10 minutes to focus lean waste, just a floor with it, this is one of the you can say that God of floor manager seeing like that top management accountability is equally important that he will attend this Lean daily management meeting on a weekly basis or BI monthly basis, he will see the progress, he will see the action point, he will see the results, he will see the improvement. In some projects he will involve he will meet to the dev team, that’s what’s going on what they are facing any problem. So these are the core agenda for APL of real management like top management, middle management down for management, each one has a specific job description, each one have a specific KPI which is purely related to the Lean development system. If this is going on, if this is happening, you see that improvement or working on as per timeline is going as per time.
Absolutely. And obviously you mentioned multiple areas or you know either behaviors or actions that can be built into Leader Standard Work. You mentioned, you know, gimble walks or wastewater, you mentioned audits, you mentioned, being part of tear meetings, all of these things can be structured into a leaders standard work. And so and obviously at different levels of leaders, you know, their work, the amount of work that we’re structuring for them would be much less the higher that you go in the organization where at the floor level, you have, you know, 100% of a an operator’s work is should be standardized, right. And then from there, you know, mid management would be, you know, maybe 60 to 70% would be standardized. And, you know, maybe it’s 20 or 30% at the executive level, but that 20 to 30% at the executive level. You know, that shows their commitment to the Lean initiatives when they are involved in the auditing when they are involved in the gimble walks when they’re when they’re at the to your meetings, having conversations about improvements and helping to identify opportunities to remove roadblocks and help drive initiatives forward. That engagement in itself is going to help sustain In your lien initiatives, and obviously we mentioned auditing multiple times, Mohamed, but in your experience, why do you think that audits are so important? You mentioned, you know, five s audits, but there’s also Standard Work audits. There could be job description audits, you know, there’s lots of different audits that can be implemented in an organization, why do you think that leadership should be auditing? What does that do for an organization?
Actually, Patrick, you will have highlight very important point, what is what is that that does indeed eliminate management system, this is called Leader Standard Work. This specifically work Leader Standard Work is explain or define you that how much work at your level is standards, for example, LEED Standard Work says that operator or shop floor worker have a 95% discount rate. So you should be then our random audit should be 95% is to driver corporator. Our team leader our shop floor supervisor has 80% gender as well as supervisor have a 50% discount driver because database is b2c troubleshooting, that was a reason that’s coming. Our manager has 50% standards, but our value stream Manager Our continuous improvement manager has only 25 standard work because their work is the nature of work is different, they’re not working on the standard, they are working on improvement and that CEO, the executive director, General Manager have 15% of the standard rather and this 15% is general work is to work to see the fibers on a monthly basis to visit the job description on a bi monthly basis to do XYZ network on bi weekly. So, this this is a very important to follow Leader Standard Work because I am daily coming on my floor and doing XYZ don’t tell you this is this is my job responsibility. So, this much work is standardized for me on a daily basis, but for improvement, I need 10% 15% relaxation to do improvement. And secondly, you have asked about why it is important or why it is needed to do the audits of job description fibers XYZ rhythm. So, this is the main reason you can say that because human nature human behavior is saying that if you’re doing continually same thing you are unable to improve in this area in this systematic if you are doing consistency on same pace, that’s why Lean to lean system and the auditors are highlight if CEO comes on the floor and see the fibers is very good, he appreciate he gives the motivational card he said the badge he should be clapping. So, these are the tools that is for that floor that we are the V can do more than that. So, these are these are the very important to someone audit my things that what I am doing is right or wrong someone telling me that the direction the route I am doing is right someone say that yes, you it is right. So, Leader Standard Work tells you make sense for auditing like fibers like job description, like KPIs like productivity improvement. So, these are the things that leader or top management must execute must check. And by the way, one more importantly is there an advantage is that they are on board on testing and they can add values in this thing. Because at every stage you have different scenario, you have different environment, you have different challenges. So leadership guidance, leadership involvement, leadership, interest is play a vital role at that stage.
Absolutely. I completely agree. 100% Mohamed, this has been a great discussion. I so much appreciate you coming on and talking with us about Lean daily management systems? What if if someone’s interested to reach out to you with a question or want to learn more about Lean daily management systems? How would they contact you? What’s the best way for them to reach out?
If anyone have asked about how we can start this, how we can implement this, or what are the challenges we are facing during this system? Is there any cost? Is there any ROI for this? So that’s, I really appreciate that it can come through your platform, or you can contact me via LinkedIn, I have an engineer Mark Purim, our meanwhile, I have also share my email engineer and response email@example.com. So that’s the platform you’re providing is also beneficial for someone else who wants to implement the Lean daily management system. So that’s very bad.
Absolutely. And what we’ll do is we’ll put your, your LinkedIn link, as well as your email in the show notes. And that way, if anybody does want to reach out to you, and connect, they can go right to our show notes and grab your contact information there. Mohamed, it’s been great to have you on the show so much appreciate your insight. And looking forward to talking with you again, hopefully, at some point, you and I were talking about the different textile companies in Pakistan, that we’ve been chatting with and that you’re working with, and who knows, maybe someday we’ll cross paths, either in Pakistan or maybe at a lien conference somewhere. So thank you so much for being here today.
Thank you, Patrick. It’s nice. Talking to you as well, you have a really very nice question. And also during question you have, she has some practical real insights that the current industry is facing. And I am again, looking forward to you with an an interesting podcast. So it’s really very grateful for me. All right.
Thank you, Mohammed. Thanks so much for tuning in to this episode of the lean solutions podcast. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to subscribe. This way you’ll get updates as new episodes become available. If you feel so inclined. Please give us a review. Thank you so much.