Use these free daily huddle template cards to get you started on the road to Lean Construction. Lean expert Keyan Zandy explains the benefits of the daily huddle and how to use these cards to make the most of your daily huddles.
Lean Daily Huddle Cards
If you’ve been following along with me and Joe on our Lean Builder journey, you have most likely heard us say: start small! When we say this, we mean that those who are new to Lean should start by taking baby steps and focusing on the people around them—and then move on to the tools.
Daily Huddle Benefits
As we have noted in some of our previous blogs, and laid out in our book The Lean Builder, the first step you should take is to transition your team into a Lean Daily Huddle. The benefits of a daily huddle are that they:
- Organize the day’s schedule – with everyone catching up each day, we all know who is working on what, where, and for how long.
- Improve communication and provides an understanding of expectations – when you’re making a point to talk to each other every day, communication naturally improves.
- Save time – it sounds counter-intuitive, but it winds up taking LESS time—and achieves MORE—if you meet more often, for shorter durations.
- Are informational – the meetings are short, so everyone needs to get to the point and relay the most pertinent information.
- Solve problems quickly – that daily communication facilitates problem-solving like nothing you’ve seen.
- Build culture – the spirit of teamwork and mutual respect that grows through this practice yields dividends in the environment of the project team.
But having your field team gain all this value on day one is not what you should expect. In fact, it could take weeks for the foremen to really get in the groove of what they should be talking about and understand how straightforward and to the point the meeting should be.
Daily Huddle Questions
This was pointed out to me few years ago, when a project manager who was new to my firm came to me with an issue she was seeing in the field with her superintendents’ daily huddles. She relayed that she thought the foremen were not staying on track and when it was each person’s turn to speak, they didn’t seem to have much to say. We began to white board out what would be of most value for the field to discuss. We felt that if the trade leaders got in the habit of routinely answering the following questions at the daily huddle, the huddles would be more productive:
- What are you working on?
- Where are you working?
- How many crews/workers are on-site?
- What are your constraints/needs?
- What material deliveries are coming up?
- What are the upcoming project milestones?
By asking these six questions, you’re engaging the trade partners and allowing them to collaborate and coordinate with the other trades. This achieves buy-in and accountability and allows for a more reliable workflow. She was excited to take this back to her team to implement. When I followed up a few weeks later, her team had come up with the idea of a Lean Daily Huddle Card that they distributed to all the foreman to help remind them what they needed to be talking about on site.
Daily Huddle Rules
Also remember to follow these rules during your daily huddle:
- Keep it short.
- Start on time, and end on time.
- No phones or distractions.
- Stand up.
- Get in a routine.
- Stay on track.
- Involve the entire team.
Free Daily Huddle Template Cards
The Lean Daily Huddle cards work great for new field teams who don’t have experience with Lean. If you think this will be helpful on your project, please download this template and cut out these cards for your foreman. We are sure that, after a few weeks, you will see the value.
By: Keyan Zandy, COO