Optimizing Performance: How to Implement Tiered Daily Management for KPI Review in Manufacturing.


After reading this article, you will learn a detailed roadmap for implementing Tiered Daily Management, a systematic approach for Key Performance Indicator (KPI) reviews in manufacturing. The four-tier structure caters to different organizational layers, optimizing operational and financial performance. We will explore meeting structuring, challenges, and strategies for successful implementation, emphasizing the importance of technology integration and communication protocols. I will share a well-defined meeting schedule, addressing challenges such as resistance to change and lack of collaboration. You will learn about implementation phases, such as pilot testing, training, and continuous improvement through regular reviews. The tier daily management approach, when embedded, fosters collaboration, identifies strengths, and enhances the organization’s decision-making capabilities, unlocking its full potential.

Did You Know?

  • Effective management systems in manufacturing have been shown to increase productivity by an average of 20-30%, resulting in improved output and reduced waste.
  • Studies suggest that ineffective meetings cost organizations billions annually.
  • A survey of manufacturing professionals indicates that only 30% believe their meetings are highly effective, highlighting a potential area for improvement.
  • Companies with higher employee engagement in manufacturing report a 41% reduction in defects and a 24% improvement in productivity, emphasizing the link between effective management and an engaged workforce.
  • Middle and upper-level managers in manufacturing spend, on average, 35-50% of their time in meetings, underlining the importance of ensuring these meetings are productive and focused on strategic goals.
  • Organizations with agile decision-making processes, facilitated by effective meetings and management systems, are 50% more likely to outperform competitors in terms of revenue growth.
  • Companies that invest in ongoing employee training related to management systems and meeting effectiveness experience a 20-25% increase in employee satisfaction and a subsequent rise in overall performance.
  • Effective management systems contribute to a 15-20% reduction in the occurrence of unplanned events and risks within the manufacturing process, ensuring a more resilient and reliable production environment.
  • Organizations that actively seek and implement employee feedback in their management systems and meetings experience a 20% increase in employee morale and commitment.

Key Takeaways

Tiered Daily Management Structure Implementing a systematic approach organizes KPIs into four tiers, aligning with diverse organizational layers.
Strategic Significance The system aims to streamline monitoring processes, ensuring critical metrics receive appropriate attention, enhancing operational and financial performance.
Meeting Purpose Adjust meeting purposes based on organizational layers, emphasizing strategic alignment and continuous improvement.
Frequency and Duration Tailor meeting frequency and duration to urgency, performance trends, and KPI nature for each organizational layer.
Agenda Development Create standardized agendas reflecting the unique concerns of each organizational layer, ensuring flexibility for support functions.
Metrics Identification Identify relevant KPIs for each layer, involving key stakeholders from various departments for cross-functional collaboration.
Participants Identification Define participants for each meeting, ensuring representation from relevant and supporting departments.
Deliverables and Output Establish clear expectations for deliverables, focusing on actionable insights relevant to each organizational layer.
Challenges of Implementation Overcome challenges such as resistance to change, data accuracy, technology integration, communication barriers, and balancing detail and brevity.
Continuous Improvement Embrace periodic reviews, adjusting tier definitions, ongoing employee training, and engagement to ensure the system’s effectiveness over time.

In a manufacturing business, the pursuit of excellence is grounded in effective Key Performance Indicator (KPI) performance execution. This blog post will provide you with a detailed roadmap for implementing a tiered meeting structure tailored for diverse organizational layers – business level, operational metrics, and front-line leaders with their operators. We will explore not only the elements of an effective meeting structure but also the challenges that may arise during implementation and how to overcome them. Implementing a tiered daily management system can significantly enhance the efficiency of KPI reviews, providing real-time insights and enabling proactive decision-making. This blog post will guide you through the process of establishing a tiered daily management structure tailored for manufacturing businesses.

“Reactive management kills manufacturing profits every day.”

1. Introducing Tiered Daily Management

Tiered Daily Management is a systematic approach that organizes KPIs into different tiers based on their significance and impact on business objectives. The goal is to streamline the monitoring process, ensuring that the most critical metrics receive the necessary attention while providing a holistic view of the overall performance. This enables the organization to develop a repeatable and sustainable system for monitoring and improving operational and, ultimately, financial performance.

Watch this video to learn more about the manufacturing leader that gets results.

1.1 Tier 1: Process KPIs

Tier 1 focuses on KPIs that impact immediate operational performance, ensuring alignment with broader business objectives. These metrics are normally owned by Supervisors, team leads, and operators directly involved in the production process. These metrics pertain to specific processes within the manufacturing workflow and identify KPIs that reflect their efficiency and effectiveness. Examples of metrics in this tier include defective parts, first-pass yield, schedule attainment, total production, etc.

1.2 Tier 2: Operational KPIs

Tier 1 KPIs are related to day-to-day operations, production efficiency, and resource utilization. These metrics are essential for evaluating the effectiveness of manufacturing processes. These are metrics operational KPIs directly contributing to achieving strategic goals and maintaining efficient day-to-day operations. Examples include quality defects, rework, on-time deliveries, overtime hours worked, etc.

Watch this video to learn more about how a visual management board is used.

1.3 Tier 3: Problem-Solving & Project Management KPIs

The focus for tier 3 KPIs is on completing continuous improvement projects to hit business goals. These metrics are how teams align the entire organization with the business’s improvement efforts to achieve long-term goals. Examples of these metrics include operational KPIs or specific measures to be improved, such as equipment downtime, changeover times, etc.

1.4 Tier 4: Strategic KPIs

The focus for tier 4 KPIs is on high-level KPIs aligned with overarching business goals. These metrics are how strategic decision-makers chart the course for the entire organization and align the entire organization with the business’s long-term goals. These include some operational and financial metrics. Tier 4 meetings will focus on analyzing financial metrics such as revenue, profitability, and cost-effectiveness. Additionally, discuss trends and potential financial risks.

Read this article to learn more about how manufacturers get the most from KPIs.

2. How to Structure Tiered Meetings

Well-structured meetings for successful KPI performance reviews. Let’s break down the key components for each organizational layer:

2.1. Meeting Purpose

Adjust each meeting’s purpose to the needs of the organizational layer. Business-level reviews may emphasize strategic alignment, while operational metrics meetings focus on continuous improvement.

2.2 Frequency and Duration

Adjust the frequency based on the urgency, performance trends, and nature of KPIs for each layer. Business-level reviews may occur monthly, quarterly, or annually, while operational metrics reviews might be more frequent, i.e., daily or weekly. Balance duration to ensure a thorough discussion without being excessively time-consuming.


Watch this video to learn more about the 5 Metrics that Add Millions to Manufacturing Businesses.

2.3 Agenda Development

Create a standardized agenda reflecting the unique concerns of each organizational layer. Business leader meetings may include discussions on market trends, while front-line leaders delve into production bottlenecks and countermeasures. Flexibility is crucial to accommodate the specific needs of support functions.

2.4 Metrics Identification

Identify the KPIs relevant to each organizational layer. Business leaders may focus on financial metrics, while operational metrics could include operational metrics, such as production efficiency and defect rates.

Watch this webinar to learn the best performance measurements for manufacturers.

2.5 Participants Identification

Define the participants for each meeting, ensuring representation from relevant and supporting departments. Encourage cross-functional collaboration from all departments.  Determine key stakeholders involved in KPI monitoring, including executives, department heads, and relevant team members. Clearly outline the roles and responsibilities of each team member to ensure a collaborative and efficient review process. For support functions, involve key individuals from Maintenance, Quality, HR, IT, and finance.

2.5 Deliverables and Output

Establish clear expectations regarding deliverables from each performance review meeting. Business leaders may expect strategic insights and updates on strategic initiatives, while front-line leaders focus on actionable operational improvements.

“When targets are missed, demand convincing root cause analysis and countermeasures.”

2.6 Selecting KPI Measurement Tools

Select KPI measurement tools that align with the nature of your manufacturing business. This could include specialized software, dashboards, or customized solutions. Ensure seamless integration of data sources into the chosen tools to provide accurate and real-time KPI updates. A critical element for a successful implementation is easy access to information so the team can make decisions quickly.

2.7 Establishing Communication Protocols

Define how KPI information will be communicated within the organization. This may include daily reports, virtual meetings, or automated alerts. Develop standard documents, charts, and other templates for reporting performance.  Develop procedures for escalating issues identified during KPI reviews to the appropriate levels for swift resolution.

2.8 Pre-Work Preparation

Implement pre-work activities to enhance the efficiency of performance review meetings. Ensure participants come prepared with relevant data, insights, projections, action plans, and countermeasures for missed targets.

Read this infographic to learn more about a problem-solving methodology for manufacturers.

3. Establishing a Meeting Schedule

A well-defined meeting schedule ensures cohesion and organization. Consider the following factors:

3.1 Calendar Integration

Sync tiered review meetings with the broader organizational calendar. Ensure alignment with other strategic planning sessions, budget cycles, or major operational milestones.

3.2 Regular Review Cycles

Define regular review cycles for each organizational layer. Business-level reviews may align with fiscal quarters, while operational metrics reviews could occur monthly or weekly. Consistency is key to maintaining momentum and tracking progress effectively.

3.3 Flexibility for Ad-Hoc Meetings

Allow flexibility for ad-hoc meetings to address urgent issues. Ensure that the schedule accommodates unexpected challenges that may require immediate attention.

3.4 Communication of Schedule

Communicate the meeting schedule proactively to all participants. Use digital communication tools to disseminate the schedule and any updates efficiently.

See below a sample tiered meeting schedule showing frequency, participants, focus, inputs, and outputs.
Tier 1
Shift Handoff
1/Shift Team leaders and team members from both shifts (outgoing & incoming.) Production Control Boards
Action Items
Help incoming shift prepare by communicating:
– Shift issues
– Order Status
– Countermeasures
– Priorities
Just Do Its
Quality & Safety Concerns & Precautions
Operator driven improvements
Issues to escalate
Tier 1
Shift Start Up
1/Shift Supervisors
Team Leaders
Support Groups
Visual Management Boards
Key Highlights from Prior Shift/Day
Safety & Quality Issues
Schedule Issues
Communicate performance to production team
Escalate issues
Request support
Staffing / Location plan execution
Plan for the day
Gemba Walks Daily Plant Manager
Support Department Managers
Operations Management (Managers, Supervisors, etc.)
Visual Management Boards
Key Highlights from Prior Shift/Day
Safety & Quality Issues
Schedule Issues
Communicate performance to senior leaders
Escalate issues
Request support
Take note of escalated issues
Escalated Issues
Assigned action items
Tier 2
Tier Board Review
Daily Plant Manager
Department Managers (Safety, Quality, Production, Maintenance, etc.)
KPI Metrics
Tier 1 Escalation
Review prior day performance
Review MTD performance
Identify necessary support activities
Develop responses to escalated issues
Project Management
Countermeasure Effectiveness
Communicate responses to escalated issues
Tier 3
Problem Solving & Project Management
Weekly Plant Manager
Operations Manager
Key Support Groups
Deep Dive Problem Solving
Operational Performance Data
Identify necessary improvement projects
Discuss project status
Discuss project results
Highlight accomplishments
Develop responses for escalated issues
CAPEX projects (future & ongoing)
Project Management
Countermeasure Development
Countermeasure Effectiveness
Communicate responses to escalated issues
Tier 4 Strategic Initiatives Monthly / Twice Monthly Site Senior Leadership Site AOP & Performance Dashboard
Project Status
Project Countermeasures
Updates on strategic initiatives
Review leading indicators
Discuss ad-hoc topics
Evaluate focus, pace & effectiveness of strategic initiatives
Countermeasures for Strategic Initiatives
Adjustments to Strategic Initiatives
Tier 5 Financial & Operational Performance Monthly Executives
Site Senior Leadership team
Financial Performance
Operational Performance
Analysis of Deviations and Trends.
Identify where recovery plans are necessary to restore performance.
Action Plan for Alignment with Long-Term Goals.

4. Challenges of Implementation and How to Overcome Them

Implementing a robust meeting structure for tiered KPI performance reviews can present challenges. Here are common obstacles and strategies for overcoming them:

4.1 Resistance to Change

Challenge: Employees may resist changes to existing routines.

Overcoming: Communicate the benefits of the new structure, involve employees in the design process, provide training to ease the transition, and collaborate with team members on preparation, reporting, brainstorming, and countermeasure development.

Watch this video to learn how manufacturing leaders get buy-in from their teams.

4.2 Data Accuracy and Availability

Challenge: Inaccurate or unavailable data can hinder effective performance reviews.

Overcoming: Invest in data management systems, ensure data accuracy through regular audits, and provide training on data collection and reporting. Ideally, avoid overly complicated metrics or choosing too many metrics.

Read this article to learn a roadmap to overcome resistance when trying to make operational improvements.

4.3 Lack of Technology Integration

Challenge: Outdated technology can get in the way of collaboration and data analysis.

Overcoming: Invest in modern technology tools for data analytics, collaboration, and presentation. Provide training to ensure effective use.

4.4 Communication Barriers

Challenge: Ineffective communication can lead to misunderstandings and misaligned expectations.

Overcoming: Establish clear communication channels, encourage open dialogue, and provide regular updates on the progress of the new meeting structure.

4.5 Balancing Detail and Brevity

Challenge: Striking the right balance between comprehensive discussions and time efficiency.

Overcoming: Define clear objectives for each meeting, prioritize agenda items, and encourage participants to focus on actionable insights. Do not allow meetings to become complaint sessions. Discipline is the key to success here.

Read this article to learn more about how manufacturing leaders hurt execution.

4.6 Ensuring Cross-Functional Collaboration

Challenge: Silos and lack of collaboration between departments.

Overcoming: Foster a culture of collaboration, involve representatives from different departments in meetings, and emphasize the interconnectedness of organizational goals. Assign team leaders and members to projects.

4.7 Overcoming Preconceived Notions

Challenge: Pre-existing notions about the effectiveness of performance reviews.

Overcoming: Provide evidence of the benefits of the new structure, share success stories, and address concerns through open communication. Most importantly, these notions are formed when employees don’t see outcomes. This is where a bias for action and not tolerating complacency will go a long way to show these reviews are to be taken seriously.

4.8 Celebrate Accomplishments

Make it a point to recognize the individuals and teams that displayed a high commitment level to the process. Make sure that accomplishments gain visibility at all levels within the company. This will help skeptics embrace this new structure and when applicable have team members speak at all employee meetings so that others can see from their peers how they improved their processes and results.

5. Implementation

With the meeting structure, schedule, and strategies for overcoming challenges in place, the focus shifts to implementation and continuous improvement:

5.1 Pilot Testing

Conduct pilot tests of the meeting structure with a representative group from each organizational layer. Could also be one pilot plant. Gather feedback to refine the structure and schedule before full-scale implementation.

5.2 Training and Communication

Provide comprehensive training sessions for participants on the new meeting structure, procedures, and documentation. Communicate the benefits and objectives of the updated structure and schedule to ensure buy-in.

Read this article to learn more about the ball & chain holding manufacturing leaders back.

5.3 Monitoring and Feedback Loop

Establish a robust monitoring system to track the effectiveness of the performance review meetings. Create a feedback loop to continuously improve the meeting structure and schedule based on participant input and meeting outcomes. Periodically conduct evaluations on what’s working and what isn’t. Ask the team to reflect on questions like: Are these metrics providing useful information? Are we getting appropriate participation from everyone? Are we missing any key team members? Are we diligent about developing and implementing countermeasures to operational issues? Are the higher management layers providing the necessary support?

5.4 Technology Integration

Explore opportunities to leverage technology for data analytics, presentation, and collaboration. Integrate user-friendly tools that enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the performance review process. If possible, standardize the KPIs in the form of results over time and, if useful, segment results by shift, department, product line, or any other variable to help you identify the sources of issues.

5.5 Documentation and Reporting

Develop a systematic documentation system for performance review outcomes. Generate regular reports summarizing key insights, action items, owners, target completion dates, status, and improvements made.

6. Continuous Improvement

6.1 Regular Performance Reviews

Schedule periodic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of the tiered daily management system. Solicit and gather feedback from the KPI review team and other stakeholders to identify areas for improvement and optimization.

“Buy-in to Improvement should never be optional. Period.”

6.2 Adjusting Tier Definitions

Periodically reassess strategic goals and objectives and adjust tier definitions as needed to reflect the evolving priorities of the manufacturing business. Embrace an agile approach to tiered daily management, allowing for flexibility and responsiveness to changing market conditions.

6.3 Employee Training and Engagement

Provide ongoing training to employees involved in the KPI review process to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge. Encourage a culture of continuous improvement and engagement by recognizing and rewarding contributions to the success of the tiered daily management system.

7. Conclusion

Implementing a tiered daily management system for KPI review in manufacturing is a strategic investment in organizational excellence. By aligning KPIs with strategic goals, establishing effective communication channels, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement, manufacturing businesses can enhance their decision-making capabilities and drive sustainable success. Embrace the power of tiered daily management to navigate the complexities of the manufacturing landscape and unlock the full potential of your organization. Finally, this systematic approach will naturally become embedded in how the team operates. Furthermore, this high-collaboration environment will help you identify.


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