Every Metric Needs a Target

Standards are designed to help an organization see problems quickly.  When we tape a square on the shop floor to represent the place for the next part to be processed, it represents a standard. If the part is not there when the time comes to work on it – there is a problem.  When we restore a piece of equipment back to its original condition we are establishing a standard that allows us to see a problem like an oil leak quick and know that we have a problem.

In the same way, every metric we follow in a daily management process has to have a standard…an expectation. We call that standard a target.

Without a target – we don’t see the problem

As a visitor to a daily management meeting you may hear the production manager say they produced 2,500 parts yesterday.  You may be able to judge from the reaction of others if that is good or not, but without a target you really have no idea.  If the production manager says; “we produced 2,500 units yesterday versus a plan of 2,300” you immediately know it was a good day and you have an idea of how good.

The result compared to the target is necessary to understand if was a good day or bad day.

All charts need a metric

As a visitor to a daily management room you may see charts on the wall trending critical performance metrics like on-time delivery, production, and quality claims.   You may be able to see the trends and even determine if the process is getting better or worse, but without a target line you have no idea if they are meeting the needed rate to execute their strategy.   You can’t see if they are meeting the needs of the business.

Targets on the shop floor

As a visitor you may see the throughput of a process every shift on an hour-by-hour activity board, but without a target you have no idea if it is meeting the plan. Targets allow us to make problems even more obvious with the use of Red and Green.  If the last hour was better than target it is Green. If the last hour was worse than target it is Red.  Everyone is quickly able to see the good and bad hours.

Help your organization make sure they have a target for all metrics to make all problems obvious.

Speak Your Mind