Lean Management Systems


Leader Standard Work

Lean system and templates for implementing lean leadership responsibilities

What is Leader Standard Work?

One of the 3 essential components of a lean management system,
a leader standard work template is a daily checklist for a lean leader.

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Standardized tools?
Oh no, man, everyone just
does their own thing
around here


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How to use your

Leader Standard Work template

Video: Leader Standard Work

Before getting started

Watch this training video >>>>>

You should have already completed the New User Training — so that you know how to use features common to all 150+ Systems2win templates.

Your leaders might have already personalized the DV sheet in your master template — so that you are starting with typical drop down lists for YOUR company.

Find and open your template

Find and open your Leader Standard Work template (LSW.xlsx or LSW.docx)
in the same way that you find and open your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

There are actually two templates: one in Excel and the other in Word.

Most people prefer the Excel template, because it has a lot more features.

Leader Standard Work template

Leader Standard Work Excel template

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Personalize your template for your routine tasks

Do not skip this step

Each leader uses the Leader Standard Work template (LSW.xlsx)
as the starting point to create their own personalized template.

Your Systems2win Leader Standard Work templates are designed to serve as a starting point for lean leaders to personalize and "make their own". Rather than starting out with a blank sheet of paper, they provide an excellent starting point for daily and weekly standard work tasks common to other industry leaders with similar lean leadership responsibilities

Unhide, and then personalize each of the (hidden) master worksheets that you will be using:

'Day', 'Week' and 'Month'

and then re-hide those sheets
after you have personalized them for your leader standard work routine tasks.

Personalize your own drop down lists on the 'DV' sheet.

Store your personalized template in a personal or team folder.

Do NOT store this template that has been personalized for just you
in the Systems2win portal with the other master templates shared by everyone.

Suggested filename for your personalized template = LSW_YourName.xlsx

See document storage and naming conventions, with tips to avoid broken links,

Now you are ready to start using your

Leader Standard Work template

At the beginning of every reporting cycle —
generate a working document

(a reporting cycle is usually a month or a week)

Systems2win menu > Generate a Working Document

In the Systems2win menu, select 'Generate a Working Document'

and then save your working document

Tip: Save any changes to your personalized template before clicking the button,
because unsaved changes will be lost.

Suggested naming convention = LSW_YourName_YY-MM.xlsx
where YY-MM is year and month

If you have a monthly reporting cycle…
it is your choice whether to start a new working document
on the Monday of the week that spans the beginning of a new month,
or to split a week between two monthly documents.

It will then create a working document that you will use for that reporting cycle,
and that working document will have:

Leader Standard Work template

Learn more about this unique Systems2win feature to Generate a Working Document

Every day

Use your Leader Standard Work
to document tasks completed, time spent, and any user-defined data unique to your job.

Document countermeasures taken to solve problems,
and tasks to later transcribe to your Team Accountability Board,
and questions and ideas to discuss with your mentor.

Unlike production standard work documents,

(which are often revision-controlled documents meant to be read, not edited),

leader standard work templates are designed to be highly personalized daily checklists
that are designed to be carried around and used as a checklist to remind each lean leader of their daily and weekly responsibilities.

More than a checklist, a Leader Standard Work form is where a leader can document daily notes, observations, requests for action or follow-up, and action items to later transfer to the team's Accountability Task List bulletin board.

Electronic or printed?

That's a choice that each leader should be allowed to make for themselves.

If you prefer to use a laptop, pad or phone app for your leader standard work, however,
it is essential to print a daily summary sheet — that serves as a highly visible signal of work completion in the visual accountability board that is easily seen and accessed by others.

(The principles of lean visual management absolutely reject electronic documents that are invisible
to everyone that does not have access to your personal iPhone)

Systems2win template or some other format?

is another choice that each leader should be allowed to make for themselves.

Even if some leaders don't use the Systems2win template for their Leader Standard Work,
every one of your leaders will benefit from the online training.

Some executives that have only a small percentage of their day devoted to routine standard work
might use their daily planner, or a small printed card, or a (printable) phone app.

On a regular mentoring cycle

At the end of each reporting cycle (usually daily, and certainly not longer than than weekly),
each leader submits their completed Leader Standard Work form to their direct report manager

In keeping with the principles of lean visual management systems,
the act of delivering daily leader standard work might consist of slipping it into a clear plastic hanging folder on a visual display bulletin board — thereby signaling completion of that day's leader standard work, and storing it in a central, public place where it can be easily found and reviewed by others.

If the supervisor is not in the same physical location, then an electronic version might be emailed to the supervisor.

As part of their regularly scheduled meeting...

(which shows up as a task on the leader standard work documents for both mentor and learner...)

in sensei-apprentice fashion, the learner and mentor review the standard work, and discuss things like:


Every lean tool needs
a corresponding
Lean Coaching System

  • Tasks that were missed, and why
  • How to make routine responsibilities easier, more effective, and more reliable
  • Unusual circumstances, or things you weren't sure how to handle

    Perhaps returning (again and again)
    to Hansei questions to stimulate Lean Thinking

As part of their regular gemba walk together (usually weekly)...

the lean leader and next-level manager will briefly review the entire week's results,
looking for patterns that could reveal systemic sources of interruption that might prompt action items to be added to the Accountability Task Boards at the appropriate team, department, or value stream level.

The week's checklists are then archived —

to remain available for possible later review looking for longer term trends.

Continuously improve

Continue to personalize and improve your Leader Standard Work
in ways that make you more and more effective.

More than just a template

Your Leader Standard Work template provides a system for the leaders within your organization to:

  1. Personalize their own standard work — with all the power, flexibility, and familiarity of Microsoft Excel
  2. Do it in a way that is standardized, repeatable, and teachable — across a large enterprise that might span the globe


When you own this Leader Standard Work template

you also own many other useful lean management templates
for a price that is affordable enough to empower every team member


Who uses Leader Standard Work?

Every single leader in a lean organization
should spend a percentage of his or her day doing routine, standardized lean management tasks.

Old style management

Still managing the old way?

Have you tried
Lean Management Systems?

The closer to the customer, the higher the percentage of time
that Leader Standard Work checklists should be followed:

Yes, even the CEO in any lean organization
should also perform a small percentage of routine, standardized lean management responsibilities,
and should make a big deal out of setting the example for everyone else by making it very publicly obvious
that even the CEO follows leader standard work for a percentage of his or her typical day.

Leader Standard Work is layered

from the bottom up

Leader standard work is intentionally designed to focus multiple layers of attention on the same process.

Here's an example to help you understand how this might work...

Multiple Layers

Reinforcing Focus on a Process

Top layer = Leader Standard Work,
which includes next-level management review
of lower manager's standard work

Accountability Task Board — systematically ensures accountability for completing assignments

Multi-tier daily stand-up meetings —
where misses are routinely assessed, ideas are routinely solicited, and action items assigned

Visual Controls — show expected to actual results, with clear reasons for every miss, and red/green coding that a newcomer can understand 10 feet away

Standard Work for the production process — everyone does it the same way every time

Bottom layer = Production Process

The Team Leader's Standard Work

might prescribe the Team Leader to add a new line of data entry into the Production Tracking Log visual management system every Pitch Cycle (for example, every 30 minutes), and (importantly) adding clear and complete notes to explain the reasons for any misses.

The Department Supervisor's Standard Work

might then prescribe the Department Supervisor to spot check and add her initials to that Production Tracking Log every 2 hours. And the supervisor's standard work prescribes leading a brief daily stand-up meeting with her team leaders, where part of the regular agenda is to review any of yesterday's misses, and ensure that appropriate action has been taken or initiated.

The Value Stream Manager's Standard Work

might then prescribe the Value Stream Manager to spot check and add her initials to that same visual management system Production Tracking Log once a day, and lead a brief daily stand-up meeting with her Supervisors, where part of the regular agenda is to review those same yesterday's misses, and ensure that appropriate action has been taken or initiated at the appropriate level
(team, department, or value stream/supporting roles).

The top-level manager or executive's standard work

might then prescribe the senior leader to spot check that same visual management Production Tracking Log whenever she visits that work area, and to lead a brief regularly-scheduled meeting with her Value Stream Managers and Supervisors, where part of the regular agenda is to discuss the biggest problems or opportunities that have emerged from all of this focused attention on the all-important production process.

In this way, standard work is layered to ensure multi-layered focus on the processes that produce the results

which is the most challenging aspect of the transition
from a traditional results-only culture to a lean results-and-process-focused culture.

In other words...

If you earned your MBA from a college that teaches MBO (Management By Objectives),

then you need to unlearn what you were taught,
because that's not the way things work in a lean organization.

In a lean organization, every level of management focuses on both:

Results, and the Processes that yield results

and Leader Standard Work is one very common way to ensure that every leader does exactly that.








Your purchase price is usually justified with the 1 or 2 templates that you use most

The others are a really nice
"gift with purchase"

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