Boost productivity with an effective daily management system

Female factory worker in a team meeting referring to a digital screen
Key takeaways
  • Daily management systems support the rapid detection of performance issues and quick correction through structured problem-solving
  • They identify improvement opportunities and help move the organization into a culture of continuous improvement
  • They maintain improvements, preventing new levels of performance from slipping back to previous lower levels of performance
24 May 2023 – Establishing an effective daily management system (DMS) is a key step in reconfiguring your operations for optimal productivity. David Rogers, Technical Director at CCi and a DMS expert, and Mary Williamson, Head of Client Experience Standardization and Consulting Capability, CCi, shared the following insights with us in a recent interview.

What are daily management systems?

A daily management system is a lean strategy that provides the structure teams need to carry out, evaluate and continuously improve their day-to-day work. It is an important part of the following two structures in an organization: one that “runs the business” and another that “improves the business” – both structures are required to lift the organization out of firefighting mode and into a culture of continuous improvement. The two structures coexist, and help to build and maintain a world-class operation.

Daily management systems provide the day-to-day vehicle to deliver the balanced scorecard with insights from the last 24 hours (or shift). They also ensure efficient planning and execution of the next 24 hours (or shift) by the respective departments and tiers of the business.

Appropriate DMS setup, from the shop floor to the highest levels of management, is crucial to achieving productivity and alignment.


Download the how-to guide Making time for operations improvement to learn more about creating an effective daily management system at all levels in your organization.


What is the purpose of daily management systems?


The purpose of daily management systems is to:
  • ensure that roles and responsibilities are understood
  • ensure that internal and external customer requirements are understood and translated into improvement priorities and practices
  • encourage ownership and accountability at all levels
  • rapidly detect performance issues, quickly correct those issues through structured problem-solving; and put measures in place to prevent problems from recurring
  • establish and monitor KPIs and targets in all key performance areas, in line with the organization’s strategic objectives
  • identify additional improvement opportunities that can be addressed through the ‘‘Improve’’ infrastructure
  • ensure that stability, control and improvement become entrenched at the site
  • maintain improvements, preventing new levels of performance from slipping back to previous lower levels of performance
  • facilitate management and improvement


What are the benefits of effective daily management systems?

Effective daily management systems provide many tangible and intangible benefits, some of which are listed below:


Organizational alignment
A company’s balanced scorecard can be deployed effectively throughout the organization, allowing each level and each function to align their KPIs and targets to achieve the balanced scorecard requirements.
Each function (department) and each level (tier) has the opportunity to demonstrate and benefit from the principles of teamwork through the daily and shift DMS forums. Teamwork is generally understood as the willingness of a group of people to work together to achieve a common aim. The DMS forum provides the common aims through the agreed KPIs, targets, behaviors and review process.
Leaders are given a forum, and opportunity, to develop and role model key leadership behaviors and disciplines. Leaders can be coached and also coach others based on their observed effectiveness and contributions demonstrated in the daily operations review meeting.

Leader standard work (LSW) is a key element of the daily management systems. LSW is based on the principles of standardized work at the process level, with these principles then applied to key leadership routines.

LSW brings quality and effectiveness to the execution of leadership tasks, and influences more positive behavior in leaders.

There are multiple competing priorities and complexities in an operational environment. Priorities can often be confused by various individuals in the workplace. These individuals may have elevated levels of influence and it can often be the case that influential people can steer the teams to focus on the wrong things.

Collectively deciding and visually managing departmental KPIs on a daily management board, based on the organization’s balanced scorecard, will ensure that the right things are being measured the right way by the right people.

It is often the case that, prior to an effective daily management system, multiple individual and small group conversations are required to establish the shift or daily facts of performance, and the various issues impeding the delivery of KPI targets. This is time-consuming and often affects mostly resources who need to be focusing on performance (not reporting), such as team leaders, supervisors and shift managers.

The daily management system allows these key positions to get the support they need from a single meeting, and it also allows them to hold those support functions to account for actions created.

Performance results
Daily management system is the process that delivers day-to-day continuous improvement and contributes to the project hopper that feeds step-change or breakthrough improvements.

The benefits of a daily management system remain valuable in any work environment. For example, remote teams still need effective collaboration, and clear structure and governance to reach agreed targets. And leaders who regularly review their own and others’ behaviors can adjust their leadership style as required in a virtual team environment.

Focusing on priorities is imperative in a crisis, and teams who have an effective daily management system in place are already applying this principle, making them better equipped to deal with changing market demands.


Meetings in the daily management system

Regular meetings at all levels, tier meetings, form an integral part of daily management. Meeting leaders review the KPIs deployed for that level. If performance targets aren’t met, the team starts applying structured problem-solving to identify the root cause. If a team cannot solve a problem, it gets escalated to the next level.

The following meetings are essential in the daily management system:

  • Site management meetings
  • Department meetings
  • Daily Operations review (DOR) meetings
  • Team meetings


What are the elements of an effective daily management system meeting?

Organizational design, infrastructure, visual management and behaviors are discussed below – these elements cover most aspects of an effective DMS meeting.


Organizational design
An effective daily management system depends on having the right people at the right level (tier) attending and participating in the meetings. This means that the organizational structure should support the process by having a designated “leader” at each level who can drive accountability and discipline within their respective teams.
World-class infrastructure
Whether virtual or physical, the DMS “rooms” and visualization should be of a world-class standard. A key reason for this is that the daily management system provides the leadership team an opportunity for a daily or shiftly world-class benchmark that sets the standard for the rest of the day’s activities for all those who attend.
Visual management
The visual management of the agreed KPIs, displayed on a daily management board or DM board, should allow for easy interpretation of what’s going well and what’s off track, and therefore needs the team’s focus. There should be a limited number of KPIs, which forces us to manage a ‘‘vital few’’.

DM boards require the disciplined use of green, red and black to indicate on track, off track and information. Amber can be used in the timing of the meeting to allow for the continuation of constructive dialogue near – and up to – the end of the meeting.

Meeting attendees should demonstrate appropriate behaviors; consider the following:
  • The need for positive leadership role modeling in areas such as discipline: timekeeping, attendance, action closure, adherence and coaching of others in maintaining the code of conduct
  • The DMS team’s ability to distil down the complexity of the last 24 hours (or shift) into defined actions with owners and due dates that will move performance in line with the balanced scorecard
  • Meeting reviews to ensure continuous improvement of the daily management system
  • The need for respective attendees to “behave” and contribute in a way appropriate to their roles and respective tiers of the organization
  • Clear focus on what discussions are appropriate to each level of the daily management system – strategic, situational and systemic


Applying these principles help ensure an effective daily management system that will maintain productivity at all levels by providing daily structure and visualization of KPIs and targets. It will also assist leadership in accomplishing the organization’s overall strategic objectives in any climate.


Contact us and find out how we can help you initiate a daily management system in your organization.

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About Mary Williamson

Mary Williamson, Head of Client Experience Standardization and Consulting Capability, CCi, has 35 years of manufacturing experience in CI, quality, production operations and manufacturing development, and has held various leadership positions at SABMiller, Kimberly-Clark, Quaker Oats, United Signature Foods and Miller Coors. She has been a senior consultant and key account manager at CCi for over 11 years and supports numerous North and South American key account managers that represent clients at over 300 sites.

About David Rogers

David Rogers, Technical Director at CCi, has been supporting clients in implementing world class manufacturing using the TRACC continuous improvement methodology. David has held various leadership positions at a range of organizations, including Intel Corporation, Lion, Qantas and Michelin. David’s primary areas of leadership experience and training capability include: leading and managing cultural change at senior leadership level, 5S, visual management, focused improvement, autonomous maintenance, leader standard work and asset care.