5 Ways to Boost Productivity Using Digital Lean Tools

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Looking to boost productivity? Nick Strybosch shares our top 5 ways (along with handy links) to do just that with the Lean tools on TeamAssurance.

According to the US Department of Labour, Manufacturing sector labor productivity decreased 2.5 percent in the first quarter of 2023, while unit labor costs in the total manufacturing sector increased 3.1 percent.

Meanwhile, in Healthcare there is a worker shortage crisis yet the demand for healthcare services remains high. Across the globe, every industry is looking to boost productivity by adopting new technologies, automating administrative tasks, and focusing on improving the skills and training of their workforce. So where can you start?

Here are 5 ways to be more productive today with a Lean platform at your fingertips…

Schedule Leader Standard Work to Boost Productivity

Leader Standard Work (LSW) is a term given to the consistent, concrete tasks and routines that leaders should perform on a regular basis. It is a key component of Lean manufacturing and Lean Healthcare. Plus it can help to improve performance, boost productivity, develop team members, and create a culture of continuous improvement.

Using Checklists in TeamAssurance, Leader Standard Work can be defined with questions and answer sets, images, videos – and then scheduled to a person to be done at the cadence which makes the most sense (shiftly, weekly, 6 monthly etc). Anything found during these routine inspections can be assigned to the appropriate team for action.

Below is an example of this thanks to a digital kamishibai board that takes advantage of the QR Code Checklist functionality:

At a glance, the benefits of Leader Standard Work are:

Improved performance: Ensures that leaders are focused on the most important tasks and are using their time effectively.

Developed team members: Provide opportunities to learn from leaders and to participate in problem-solving

Created a culture of continuous improvement: Provide leaders with a framework for identifying and solving problems.

Increased accountability: LSW documents the tasks and routines that leaders should perform, and TeamAssurance provides a way to track their adherence and progress.

For further information check out our trending blog: ‘Leader Standard Work – The Basics

Use Tier Boards To Their Full Potential

Every team should meet for 5 minutes at the start of a shift cover off an agreed agenda. These are known as tier meetings, daily huddles or daily stand-ups. Typically the agenda covers Safety, Quality and Delivery – but every team will have a different flavour of this. It’s important that teams participate in designing their own meeting agenda and tier board. It’s also important to utilise visual management reports where possible to contextualise data.

It should include what matters to them to make them safe, productive and ensuring they’re headed in the right strategic direction. It will develop and evolve over time; so keep the visualisations engaging, but simple. And it should be easy to update, tweak and change as the team sees fit.

Here’s an example of an interactive, digital tier board for a frontline meeting:

Tier 1 Board

The benefits of tier boards are:

Improved Communication: Break down communication silos and ensure that everyone is on the same page. 

Developing Problem-solving Skills: Encourage collaboration and problem-solving at all levels of the organisation. This can lead to faster problem identification and resolution, as well as better decision-making.

Increased Accountability: Help to hold people accountable for their actions. This is because each meeting starts with a review of the previous day’s actions and results. Any issues or problems that were not resolved are then assigned to specific individuals or teams.

Identifying Efficiencies: Identify and address bottlenecks and inefficiencies. 

Continuous Improvement: Provide visibility into the manufacturing process for everyone involved. This can help to improve understanding of the process and identify areas where improvements can be made.

Want to learn more or refresh your best practice knowledge? Check out: Tier Meeting Board Examples and their Role in Lean Organisations.

Embed PowerBI dashboards

Meeting Tier 3 Screen

Most organisations have access to a business intelligence (BI) tool, like PowerBI or Qualtrics. These BI tools allow you to build reports from multiple data sources within your organisation.

TeamAssurance data can be automatically refreshed to PowerBI reports, and these reports can be visualised in TeamAssurance Tier Boards.

The benefits of embedding BI tools within your platform for daily management:

Increased Accessibility: Embedding reports in Tier Boards makes them accessible to frontline Teams. Each team can have their own report, tailored to their exact needs.

Tracked Performance: track the performance of equipment or processes to help identify potential problems early on, and to take corrective action before they cause a disruption.

Improved Efficiency: Get insight into quality issues and identify areas where the team can improve to reduce waste and increase on-time delivery..

Integrating your BI Tools into TeamAssurance takes a matter of minutes. Check out our how-to video here: How to embed a PowerBI report

Boost Productivity With Dynamic Skills Development

Skill development is key to workforce participation and output. But most organizations don’t have a way to efficiently manage this. It’s stuck in an excel file, rarely updated, and the training is done ad-hoc

TeamAssurance has an integrated Skills module, where Team Members can always see their skill levels and training is self-directed, with built-in Review steps for Training Leads. This provides skill visibility, accountability and an auditable history, while identifying gaps and progress.

The benefits of managing skills development within the daily management system are:

Self-directed Training: Everyone can see their own progress, and what training is automatically assigned to them. This reduces the admin and improves the risk of non-compliance

Built-In Governance: Review steps are built-in, and there is an auditable history.

Integration into the Daily Management System: Skill development stops being a once-a-year activity, and genuinely integrates into the daily routine. Progress is automatically updated in a Personal Dashboard, which can facilitate a 1 on 1 conversation without any administrative set-up.

Want to implement a dynamic skills development in TeamAssurance? Check out our video: How to get started with Skills.


Tags are keywords or phrases that you can add to Tasks and Actions to help organize and find them later. For example, you could tag an Activity with “2023Q3”, “Audit” and “Compliance” to help you keep track:

Tags applied in TeamAssurance

Utilising Tags is a simple and fast way to boost productivity for all users. The benefits include:

Organisation: group your Activities by topic, project, or other criteria. This can make it easier to find the Activities that you need when you need them.

Improved Searchability: Tags can also make your Activities more searchable. When you search for an Activity by Tag, the search engine will look for all Activities that have the same Tag.

Increased Collaboration: If you are working on a project with other people, you can all add tags to Activities to help you keep track of your work. People at other sites, even other countries, can use the same Tags.

Productivity Stems from Optimising Your Entire Framework

The above practical examples can boost productivity immediately. You’ll start to experience the benefits in employee satisfaction, engagement and output. That’s true productivity!

From here, you must keep in mind that a Tiered Daily Management process that supports the entire PDCA loop is key to sustained continuous improvement. The Lean tools above, and others we discuss regularly – like standardised problem solving techniques, SOPs and more – should all be developed simultaneously.

The image below demonstrates how we developed TeamAssurance as an interconnected platform to avoid locally optimised, disconnected ‘Point Solutions’ (digital or analog) and improve the efficacy of your C.I. framework to achieve your organisation’s Lean efforts.

TeamAssurance Connected Systems ChartIf you’re yet to see TeamAssurance in action – or know an organisation who could benefit from a connected platform for CI productivity – you can book a live platform demonstration below.

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