Mr. Junker, Plant Manager, at an FMCG manufacturing company in Munich conducts daily staff meeting which lasts for 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Thus on an average 600 minutes get consumed daily for about 10 people engaged in-it. What a waste of time for such an important resource group at the manufacturing site. This is a very typical scenario irrespective of the industry type that either managers are not able to conduct regular staff meetings or they are wasting significant time by being inefficient in conducting them.
Bloggers and consultants always try to bring method to madness and this is how they earn. Let me share my personal experience of optimizing the meetings on time scale while keeping the quality of interaction in easy 3 steps.
Step 1 : Divide your work-area into small work groups like functions or production lines
Divide the workplace you are managing into smaller areas map each area with a person in your team so confusion about ownership is addressed.
Step 2 : Identify top 3 worst performing areas to manage by exception – use daily dashboard
Identify a person in your team who can compile and circulate a dashboard showing performance of each area/ line in worse to best order. If you have 10 manufacturing lines start the output rate % gap between actual and expected. Identify top 3 worst performing areas or set a acceptance limit like only discuss line which are below 90% of expected output. This bring focus for group to focus and contribute to large part of problem with fewer items to deal with – 80:20 principal works here like everywhere.
Step 3 : Let area managers use standard format to respond while explaining failure and resolution
The number 1 time killer in a meeting is tangential discussion, everything but the key matter. Standardize the response format, here is example. Ask manager of line number 3 which performed 44% output level, worst performance yesterday, to explain only following 3 things (you can evolve format relevant to your business) –
- What went wrong (summary of route cause of problem)
- What action is taken as countermeasure (Fix -it done)
- What can be done differently so problem does not repeat
Ask to answer each question in only 1 sentence.
This way you can discuss 80% of the problem causing stuff in your workplace in 3-8 minutes. This leaves you with additional 2 minutes to discuss any success story (breaking past performance record) and safety/5-S like important daily topics.Since it is a group meeting you can improve decorum by asking 1 person to speak at one point of time. Do not forget to give small open forum of 1 minute if an issue may need contribution from rest of the group. If something needs more prework with longer time to work on it you can not address such stuff in daily staff meetings. Let staff meeting remain a communication forum. More complex issues must get longer meetings in calendar.
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Invite me to your workplace to fix your meeting issues without a dime. Wishing you and your team happy productivity.