To be or not to be? …the Best, that is the question. To be the Best, any team must be rigidly disciplined to the practices that deliver the Best results. Assuring Best Practices are adhered to consistently and precisely is a key responsibility of a leader.
Audits are a key part of the Follow-Up block of the Prism. A formal “Best Practices Audit” is a proven Best Practice that can help. One of the more effective audit processes for a manufacturing site is structured like this:
1. Suggested audit categories are Safety, Sustainability, Quality, Service, Productivity, Human Resources, and Management Practices.
2. The Audit must be a “helping audit,” a positive experience focused on helping the team.
3. The audit team consists of seasoned associates from across the organization.
4. A Quick Best Practices Audit takes 90 minutes on the frontlines observing practices for correct execution, followed by a brief wrap-up with the host department.
5. Each selected area is audited at least once each quarter.
6. A department is selected Randomly. A roulette wheel (example shown below) or Bingo barrel can make it fun. Occasionally, the Site Manager can select an area based on concerns. While npopular, the impromptu process effectively reveals the reality of the business.
7. A resulting score shows progress since the last audit, with a key objective to improve with each audit.
8. Transferring Best Practices among operations is another objective achieved by using auditors from across operations.
Attached is a detailed example of a Quick Best Practices Audit: 76 Best Practice Audit Template Best Practices Review
Below are samples of observations and questions on the auditors’ checklist:
1. What have you and your team improved with the work recently?
2. Have you visited your internal customer recently? What did you find?
3. Housekeeping – No materials on the floor.
4. Do all employees have Sustainability Goals on their Personal Performance Card?
5. What percent PM’s are completed as planned?
6. What key communication message you are hearing from the executives?
7. Shift Change/startup is efficient and prompt. The machines don’t notice.
8. People know the HR Representative and see them on the floor daily.
9. If you were granted one wish to make your job easier, what would it be?
10. What have you seen recently that scared you about someone’s Safety?
Best Practices Audits take time, but pay for themselves. Properly led, these audits can help generate a healthy learning environment. An Audit is an important process that assures the team does what they say they are doing.
…And Pass It On!
Quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “To be, or not to be – that is the question: Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them.” …so take arms to audit Best Practices! …and my apologies to Shakespeare fans for egregiously putting this quote into a completely unrelated industrial context.