Crowdsourced Leadership Standard Work

By Ron Pereira Updated on March 2nd, 2021

leader standard work

A few weeks ago I posted an article where I asked for your thoughts on what “leadership standard work” meant to you.  As is typical, you all blew me away with your comments.

Steve Armitage, a reader of Gemba Academy’s blog, captured the eye of many of you with his comment about his personal use of a leader standard work document.  He also offered to share it with us all… and as it turns out, Steve is a man of his word.

So, without further delay here is Steve’s version of leadership standard work.

Additionally, Steve sent this message along with the document.  Please, if you don’t mind, take a second and thank Steve for openly sharing this with the entire world wide web by leaving a short comment below this post.

I use my working menu to capture key tasks that are fundamental to the role I have as Lean Coach for our site. My team of 5 all use them and I review with them on a weekly basis. Questions I ask:

  • Are you meeting the key tasks that deem you have met the minimum requirements for support as an advisor?
  • If not, why is this so?
  • If not, what do I need to do to help you meet this?

My aim is not to use it a session when my team member is lashed for not meeting their requirements, but rather as a pre-emptive snap shot of the load my people are carrying and what we need to do to ensure the work that needs to be done gets done. The feature of this is that I get no nasty end of month surprises when my boss asks where we are at, I have already actioned catch up plans to take up any lag or headed off any potential falls.

I use the same process with my leader, he reviews my WM with me and I am able to clearly articulate where the work is happening and what is being done. The most satisfying aspect of my own WM is that if asked to take on a task that clashes with one I have already, I can point to it and ask the question about how the priority lies and have not yet had a “discussion” at the end of the month as to why aspects of work are not on time or delayed.

The roll out where I work has been a fascinating journey and to see the changes to our workplace and stability that has followed as a result has been nothing short of staggering. Let me know if you would like any further info.


Steve Armitage

Once again, here is Steve’s leadership standard work.

  1. Ron Pereira

    April 19, 2009 - 9:46 pm

    Let me be the first to reply to my own article by saying THANK YOU to Steve for his generosity. I’m sure he’d appreciate additional thank you messages… so please take the time and give Steve a little shout out by leaving a comment.

  2. Lester Sutherland

    April 20, 2009 - 4:34 am

    Thanks your sharing is appreciated.


  3. Tom Palmitesta

    April 20, 2009 - 8:56 am

    Thanks for sharing. As expected it is very simple, and should be useful if your team and other stakeholders USE it every day.
    Just one question: why did you use Excel and not a normal intranet or internet calendar (google calendar or similar) which can be shared and would make changes, etc. easier?

  4. Steve Armitage

    April 20, 2009 - 7:05 pm

    Tom, your comments are right on the mark. It’s simple and the reason my team use it is that as their leader I place value on it so it stays high on their heirachy (Whats interesting to my boss is fascinating to me). Same goes for my leader.

    Why is it in excel? I print it out and it lives on my office door as part of visual factory, anyone walking past has access to see what are my key tasks. When starting my role I had to “train” a few people but I find the number of clashes with my key tasks has dwindled to next to none.

    • christina marti

      June 10, 2011 - 2:50 pm

      Can you share a soft copy of your WM?

  5. Vera Miller

    April 24, 2009 - 11:56 am

    Steve, thank you for sharing your working menu. It’s exactly what I was looking for to help develop a structured day to day task activity schedule for our supervisors.

  6. Jason Cave

    May 11, 2010 - 10:24 am

    Steve, thank you for sharing your working menu. Your example will help me tremendously as I develop a standard work format for myself and my leaders. I also appreciate your thoughts about how you use this tool to coach and develop your team. Great work!

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