Auburn University 
Beginner level
Intermediate level

Creating a lean management system

Proven practices for creating durable systems



During this half-day workshop, join David Hicks in a discussion on building effective and efficient lean management systems.


Daily management is a set of behaviors, tools and practices that focus on the production process. Leaders can start by improving the stability and standardization of the process leader standard work, a key element of the daily management system. Daily management is critical in sustaining lean production and engaging team members with ideas to improve the organization's goals. Without daily management, improvements don't last.

Daily management through leader standard work reflects a change from traditional management thinking. In a conventional world, experienced managers and supervisors have learned how to patch up and work around problems to get the orders out. In the lean way of thinking, we identify problems and then ask, "Why?" The focus is on improvement and looking for clues to understand and improve.

The daily management system includes A3s, visual systems, key performance indicators, Gemba walks, leader standard work accountability boards and suggestion systems.

Successful companies create systems that support continuous improvement. The foundation for these systems is a disciplined approach to creating standards and relentless follow-up, ensuring effective and efficient standards. Leader standard work is the primary monitoring technique for delivering effective audits, problem-solving, improvement ideas and A3 thinking. This presentation will incorporate examples from companies such as Toyota, Steelcase, and Muller Fire Hydrants to show their applications in various industries.


The Auburn Technical Assistance Center is a department of the Harbert College of Business and serves in an outreach capacity to industry in Alabama and the USA. Its mission is to act as a strategic advisor to promote business growth and link manufacturers to Auburn resources essential for increased competitiveness and profitability. The company serves in process improvement, organizational development and executive coaching.


David Hicks is a registered professional engineer with experience in automotive, metal fabrication, quality and plant management. Serving on the outreach faculty for Auburn University since 2005, Hicks has assisted clients with Lean and Six Sigma implementations in automotive, aerospace, high-volume manufacturing, food products, healthcare, electronics and job shop applications. He participates in technical societies, presenting at conferences (AME, ASQ, etc.) and serving on technical committees.