A key cultural aspect of Lean is the “daily huddle.” Sure, this practice isn’t exclusive to Lean, but it fits with the core concepts of continuous improvement and “respect for people.”
In this post, we can view a video about the daily huddle at the Snohomish location of The Everett Clinic. I’m curious to hear your thoughts – what did you see that you liked? What would you do differently? How does this compare to huddles you might do in your workplace – healthcare or otherwise? In this post, I also veer into a discussion of statistical process measures…
There are different approaches to doing huddles, but here are some key points that I’ve emphasized in my work with healthcare organizations:
- It’s a stand up meeting
- Have everyone there (unless you absolutely can’t shut down the process)
- Start with a brief focus on safety
- Have a 5-minute time limit
- It’s a meeting for short two-way communication snippets
- It’s a time to review recent performance
- It’s a time to raise issues and surface ideas, not a time for in-depth problem-solving
- It should be led by a senior team member (not a manager)
- Do the meeting in the gemba, not a conference room
- Everyone checks their title at the door
In the video, there’s clear evidence that Everett Clinic happens to follow some of these guidelines. For others, we can’t tell. Try to check them off as you watch, perhaps.
One thing that stood out to me from the video: Isn’t it amazing that a major detail like “which doctors are here today?” wasn’t communicated clearly before their daily huddle? That seems like a good thing for people to know, huddle or not, and that wasn’t happening?
What’s your reaction to that video?
Oh, also, on the topic of standup meetings, this is something that Bob Sutton covers a bit in his upcoming book Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst. Listen to my podcast with him.
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