A daily huddle, or improvement huddle as it is sometimes referred to, is an important component to a management system. Huddles provide an outlet for valuable communication that can be escalated and shared throughout the different levels of the organization. We have heard from many organizations that a consistent huddle process and management system enabled them to make decisions quickly and stay connected during the COVID pandemic.
There are numerous benefits of a daily huddle. Here are a few:
Connects Work to True North Metrics
A huddle helps connect the work of the team to the True North metrics and the goals of the system. A standard part of the huddle is to review the area metrics, so everyone is on the same page and knows if the targets are being met. Then the team can focus and prioritize improvement work that will impact the metrics. Keeping the focus helps team members see how their work affects the system and energizes teams because of that connection.
Provides an Outlet for Staff to Raise Problems
Another benefit of a daily huddle is that it provides a consistent outlet for staff to raise problems and concerns. If you don’t have a process or place for issues to be raised, they are more likely to be swept under the rug or fixed by using workarounds and may become larger issues in the future. It is important to remember that you must make the huddle a safe place for issues to be raised and ensure that the team knows the process that will be followed to address them.
Enables Prioritization for Problem-Solving
A daily huddle enables your team to prioritize problem-solving efforts. During the huddle, teams spend time prioritizing new improvement ideas. The main elements that should factor into the priority level are impact on True North metrics and difficulty level to implement. Most often teams use some form of a PICK chart with the categories possible, implement, challenge, and kibosh.
Allows Team to Celebrate Together
Huddles also provide a place to celebrate wins as a team. It is important to remember to celebrate the hard work of the team and the impact that it is making for the patients, staff, and on the True North metrics. Celebrating wins and successes is a great way to keep the team engaged and reinforce that what they are doing has an impact. It is just as valuable to celebrate failures because each time we fail, we learn, and the learning helps us become better problem solvers.
Presents Opportunities for Coaching
The daily huddle is a great place to coach staff on problem-solving and PDSA thinking. Asking open-ended, humble questions can help them refine their thinking and allow them to see the problem through a clearer lens.
Often organizations start with a daily huddle when they decide to implement a management system. It is important to remember that this is just one element of a management system. You need to include all of the management system elements to get the best results. Also, don’t forget to incorporate the principles and behaviors of organizational excellence into each element as you implement.
What benefits have you seen from your daily huddle? Please share in the comments section below.
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