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Leader Standard Work Template (+ Steps to Define the LSW)

Adeline de Oliveira
Two managers standing on a construction site, wearing helmets, looking and pointing at a laptop

Leadership isn't just about setting goals, it's also about achieving them. Leader Standard Work (LSW) offers a lifeline: structured routines and practices that leaders at all levels can adopt to ensure optimal performance day after day.

However, the full potential of Leader Standard Work can only be realized with a well-designed standard work template. This indispensable tool, derived from Lean thinking, provides managers with a systematic framework for effectively managing their time, prioritizing essential tasks, and tackling operational challenges head-on.

In this article, we examine the Leader Standard Work template in-depth, covering everything from its fundamental components and design to establishing a solid management calendar. We also discover how the UTrakk digital platform supports and optimizes these LSW practices, propelling leadership effectiveness into the digital age.

Key takeways:

  • Leader Standard Work includes daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, and periodic reviews to drive continuous improvement and adaptability within a Lean organization.
  • Implementing a Leader Standard Work Template ensures consistent leadership practices across all levels, helping to maintain operational stability and efficiency.
  • Developing a management schedule for LSW involves identifying key leadership activities, prioritizing them, and allocating appropriate time for each task.
  • Regular updates and reviews of the template encourage proactive management, enabling leaders to adapt to changes and address challenges swiftly.
  • Leveraging LSW templates increases efficiency, standardizes tasks, improves time management, strengthens communication, and fosters a culture of continuous improvement, and proactive problem resolution. Digital platforms like UTrakk can streamline the implementation and execution of LSW.

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Key elements of a Leader Standard Work template

Daily tasks

Daily tasks are routine activities that leaders should perform to ensure the smooth operation of their teams and projects. They include:

Overall responsibilities

Responsibilities in a Standard Work Template are often categorized by frequency: 

  • Daily responsibilities: Communication, task assignment and prioritization.
  • Weekly responsibilities: Team meetings, feedback sessions, resources reviews.
  • Monthly responsibilities: Performance reviews, strategic planning, training, and development.

Periodic reviews

Reviews performed on a regular basis are crucial to identify areas of improvement and make modifications to the Leader Standard Work as organizational needs evolve. This helps companies adapt to change quickly, with greater flexibility, and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Reviews include:

  • Audits and inspections
  • Performance reviews
  • Feedback sessions

Periodic reviews should be structured and include a clear view of what is working and what is not. Adjustments should then be planned and communicated effectively to ensure all team members understand the changes and their roles in implementing them.

Pro tip: A standard working model for leaders is dynamic and should be regularly updated to reflect the changing needs of a Lean organization and the growth of leadership skills.

Infographic listing the tasks and responsibilities of managers, with examples

How to develop a management schedule for Leader Standard Work

A management schedule for the Leader Standard Work acts as a roadmap guiding leaders through their responsibilities, ensuring that their actions are planned and aligned with the organization's objectives. It involves creating a structured approach to ensure that all leadership tasks are completed efficiently and consistently.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to developing a robust management schedule for Leader Standard Work:

1. Identify key leadership activities

Start by listing all critical activities that are essential for effective leadership. To do so, you can:

  • Analyze the specific job descriptions and responsibilities of supervisors and managers.
  • Conduct interviews with the leaders themselves, as well as their team members and higher-level management.
  • Observe supervisors and managers during their daily routines.
  • Reviewing standard operating procedures.

This listing should include daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. 

Divide these key tasks into categories such as communication, monitoring, planning, problem-solving, coaching, and reporting.

2. Prioritize activities

Monitor the impact of each activity on the organization’s goals and team performance. Rank activities starting with high-priority tasks. Defining importance and urgency will help allocate appropriate time slots in the schedule.

3. Define time requirements

Estimate how much time each task will require. Be realistic about what can be accomplished within a typical workday, considering time for unplanned issues and interruptions.

4. Create a daily routine

Develop a daily schedule template that includes:

  • Start of day: Review the day’s agenda, check critical metrics, and prioritize tasks.
  • Core hours: Allocate time for planned tasks, such as monitoring operations, walking the floor (Gemba Walks) to observe the production process, or engaging with team members.
  • End of Day: Review what was accomplished, update status reports, and prepare for the next day.

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5. Establish weekly and monthly routines

For tasks that do not require daily attention, schedule weekly and monthly time slots:

  • Weekly: Include time for team meetings, one-on-one sessions with direct reports, and review of weekly progress against goals.
  • Monthly: Schedule strategic planning sessions, compliance reviews, and deep dives into performance metrics.

6. Allocate time for problem-solving

Reserve some time each week for addressing unforeseen issues or for deep problem-solving sessions. This ensures you have the capacity to deal with challenges without disrupting the regular workflow.

7. Use tools for scheduling and reminders

Implement scheduling tools like Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, or specialized project management software. Use them to set reminders and track the completion of tasks.

8. Review and adjust regularly

Regularly review the effectiveness of your LSW calendar. This can be done through self-assessment, feedback from team members, and performance metrics. 

Adjust the schedule as needed to improve efficiency or address new priorities.

9. Communicate and train

Ensure that all team members understand the Leader Standard Work schedule and its purpose. If necessary, provide training to help them align their work with the leadership’s scheduled activities.

10. Document and standardize

Once the management schedule has proven effective, document and standardize the process across the department or organization. This helps maintain consistency and allows new leaders to adopt the schedule easily.

11. Digitalize the LSW process with UTrakk

Using a digital tool like UTrakk Daily Management System (DMS) can significantly simplify the implementation and adoption of the Leader Standard Work. Our DMS helps structure and standardize management practices and routines through multiple functionalities that drive efficiency, problem-solving, and performance:

  • Agenda: A digital agenda lets you plan and set routines to guide your managers through their daily, weekly, and monthly activities and tasks.
  • Checklists: Standardized checklists can be associated with digital floor tours and audits planned in the agenda.
  • Dashboards: User-friendly, personalized dashboards allow managers to visualize, track and analyze performance data for standardized routines.
  • Knowledge Center: A centralized Knowledge Center provides managers with easy access to standardized documentation.

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Leader Standard Work: A typical work day for a manager

Here's a detailed hour-by-hour breakdown of a day in the life of a manager at the factory, using a Standard Work template to guide their daily activities.

Simulated view of a Leader Standard Work template in UTrakk

7:00 AM – Arrival and day-shift preparation

  • Preparation: Arrives at the factory and spends 15 minutes reviewing the day's schedule, critical emails, and any urgent messages that need immediate attention.
  • Floor tour: Conducts a quick walkthrough of the factory floor to ensure everything is set and ready for the day’s production.

7:30 AM – Daily huddle tier 2

  • Meeting: Leads a morning huddle with shift supervisors to discuss the day’s goals, safety measures, and any last-minute instructions or changes in production schedules.

8:00 AM – Active supervision tour (Gemba Walks)

  • Monitoring: Walks the production floor, observes operations, and checks in with employees to monitor early shift performance and address immediate issues.

9:00 AM – Administrative tasks

  • Reporting: Updates production logs and reviews reports from the previous day to ensure all data is accurately recorded and filed according to standard procedures.
  • Communication: Replies to emails and other messages that require managerial input, ensuring that information is communicated clearly and promptly.

10:00 AM – Mid-morning checkpoints

  • Process checks: Conducts specific checks on critical equipment and processes to ensure compliance with quality standards and operational efficiency.
  • Active supervision tour: Walks the shop floor (Gemba Walks) to oversee the day’s production cadence, enquire about any potential issues, and engage with team members to offer support.

11:00 AM – Problem-solving session

  • Problem resolution: Addresses any specific issues that have arisen during the morning, applying problem-solving skills and making decisions to prevent disruption.

11:30 AM – Continuous improvement committee meeting

  • Meeting: Meets with process improvement teams to discuss ongoing strategies and review progress on improvement initiatives.

12:00 PM – Lunch break

  • Break and informal interactions: Takes a lunch break. This moment is often used to interact with employees in an informal setting and discuss non-work related topics, building rapport and maintaining a positive workplace atmosphere.

1:00 PM – Planning of Priorities and Projects

  • Planning: Plans high-priority tasks and projects that require immediate attention, reviewing project timelines and resource allocations.

2:00 PM – Cross-departmental meeting

  • Meeting: Participates in or leads a meeting with other department heads to ensure coordination across the factory, discussing outputs, inter-departmental issues, and collaboration opportunities.

2:30 PM – Leadership training and development

  • Coaching and training: Participates in a coaching or training session to enhance management skills or learn new procedures and equipment.

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3:00 PM – Active supervision tour (Gemba Walks)

  • Monitoring: Walks the production floor, observes operations, and checks in with employees to monitor mid-day shift performance and address immediate issues.

3:30 PM – End-of-day review

  • Meeting: Conducts an end-of-day review for leadership transitions with night shift supervisors to go over the day’s performance, achievements, and challenges.

3:45 PM – End-of-shift analysis

  • Analysis and notes: Prepares and makes available the day’s performance analysis and any handover notes to the night supervisor.

This example illustrates how a manager integrates the Standard Work template into their daily routine to ensure operational efficiency, employee engagement, and continuous improvement. Each part of the day is structured around core Leader Standard Work elements, making the manager’s tasks both predictable and responsive to the factory’s needs.

Tips for designing an effective Leader Standard Work template

Designing an effective Leader Standard Work template involves careful planning and customization to ensure it aligns with leadership roles and organizational objectives while remaining user-friendly. Here’s how to go about creating a LSW template:

Identify key tasks 

Pinpoint the core activities critical to leadership roles, such as monitoring performance, strategic planning, and team engagement. These should form the foundation of the template.

Customize the template for your specific needs

Customize the template based on the unique aspects of each leadership role. For example, manufacturing team leaders might include specific check-ins for production line efficiency and safety compliance reviews.

Include sections that can be modified or expanded based on changing organizational needs or specific projects. This could involve an adjustable checklist or add-on module for specific initiatives.

Design the template with the ability to incorporate user feedback to continually refine and adapt the Leader Standard Work to better serve its purpose.

To ensure seamless integration, customize the template to be compatible with existing organizational tools and platforms, such as project management software or performance tracking systems.

Make it clear and simple

Design the template to be user-friendly: use straightforward language to avoid confusion, implement a logical layout that reflects the natural flow of daily activities, and use color coding and icons to enhance readability and quick navigation.

Leveraging Leader Standard Work templates to increase efficiency

Leader Standard Work templates are invaluable tools that guide leaders in effectively managing their responsibilities. By standardizing daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, they bring more consistency, improve time management, strengthen communication, and increase accountability at all levels of leadership. These templates streamline operations and foster an environment conducive to continuous improvement and proactive problem resolution.

Have you considered digitalization? The UTrakk digital platform revolutionizes Leader Standard Work by offering essential tools for effective management. Its digital agenda includes every manager’s tasks and routines, ensuring standardized activities are executed on schedule. The solution also enables the creation of checklists, so managers never miss a control point or action item. With UTrakk’s real-time tracking capabilities, managers can monitor and analyze performance of standardized routines and make adjustments instantly.

UTrakk makes Leader Standard Work more structured, efficient, and flexible, meeting the dynamic needs of modern organizations.

FAQ on the Leader Standard Work template

What is a Leader Standard Work template?


Why is a Leader Standard Work template important?


How can a Leader Standard Work template improve leadership in manufacturing?


What are the key components of a Leader Standard Work template?


How does the UTrakk tool enhance Leader Standard Work templates?


Need to boost your leadership efficiency?

Our Lean Management experts at Proaction International can guide you through the process of developing a Leader Standard Work template that aligns with your organizational goals. Reach out now to explore how we can help you streamline your leadership tasks.

Adeline de Oliveira

Adeline de Oliveira

Writer and editorial manager for about 15 years, Adeline de Oliveira is passionate about human behavior and communication dynamics. At Proaction International, she covers topics ranging from Industry 5.0 to operational excellence, with a focus on leadership development. This expertise enables her to offer insights and advice on employee engagement and continuous improvement of managerial skills.