In our latest Daily Huddle Tips blog, we’ll be discussing why your team should stand during the Lean Construction daily huddle meeting.
Daily Huddle Pro Tips – Get on Up!
It was mid-August. Our structure was wrapping up, and we were beginning exterior and priority wall framing. The trade partners made their way into the job trailer shortly before 8:00 on that hot and balmy morning, taking their seats around the large conference table as usual. The huddle proceeded as it always does, covering the typical agenda items and meeting points. But, while it was a morning just like any other, I remember thinking that everyone seemed stuck in neutral. Guys were having side conversations and, when it was their turn to speak to the team, they rambled on- and off-topic. There was no sense of urgency or focus to the meeting; we were just going through the motions, laid back in our seats, drinking coffee and crushing donuts.
Standing Daily Huddles in Lean Construction
I’d recently heard about several of my peers moving to standing huddles, and I had watched a few presentations through my local LCI CoP where this was practiced, but never gave it much thought. But as I watched my team’s passive huddle that morning, I started to wonder if there was more to a standing meeting than I thought.
I decided to remove the chairs from the job trailer that evening, so we would all have to stand at the next morning’s huddle. Despite the initial griping and pot-shots, we had a much more engaging and effective meeting. Over the course of the next few weeks, I noticed the following positive attributes from standing at our daily huddles:
- Communication and listening were improved across the board. Team members were more alert to and engaged with the conversation.
- Visual communication tools were used more often and more effectively.
- The meetings were shorter, moved at a quicker pace, and stayed on track.
- Distractions were minimized. Team members were focused on each other and on successfully getting through the huddle and out the door to other things.
- Huddles were more dynamic. People moved around and interacted on a more personal level. When the trade partners spoke, they had a more commanding presence.
If you have decided to start your Lean journey by transitioning to a daily huddle, or just wish to improve the daily huddles you’re currently running, try standing up—and let us know how it goes. What differences did you notice? List what improvements occurred. What feedback did you receive?
By: Joe Donarumo, Senior Superintendent & Director of Lean Application
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