Win the Shift


Many operators don’t know the target for their shift, or if they’re currently on-track to hit that target. They start the shift not knowing what a ‘win’ is, and leave not knowing if they ‘won’ or ‘lost’. We all like to go home knowing that we ‘won’ today, and when you set a target then your team are far much more likely to hit it!

A simple test: Go out to the factory floor. Find an operator. And ask two simple questions:

If your operator can’t quickly and accurately provide this information, you have an opportunity to help them win their shift today. When your teams are regularly winning their shift, you will consistently win the week, month, and quarter.

This page provides a simple and effective way to help you set and beat your production targets.

Plan To Win

Your favorite teams don't win games by accident. Before each game they create a plan. The plan has contingencies if the play goes off-track. Then they execute the plan, and adjust the play as they go. The manufacturing version of this strategy is:

Plan to win the shift to Hit production targets and reach manufacturing goals
To ensure your operators win the shift, create a plan and adjust actions if the team starts to fall behind.

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Start the shift with a quick (maximum 5-minute) stand-up meeting with the operators to:


Track production in real-time. If the team falls too far behind their target, intervene quickly to help them get back on-track. This might involve:

For a more robust approach, consider implementing a Short Interval Control process. Short Interval Control is structured process for reviewing production every 2 or 4 hours to identify a small number of improvement actions.


Many teams miss this important step and lose valuable information as a result. At the end of the shift – gather the team for a quick debrief. Capture what worked and what didn’t.

Publish these actions in the team area and use them in your next Plan-to-Win session.

Track Production in Real-Time

The biggest challenge that most teams face is – how do we accurately track production vs the target?

Manual Data Capture

The traditional approach to monitoring production is to use an hour-by-hour whiteboard. Hour-by-hour or ‘Production Control’ boards are heavily featured in the Toyota Production System (TPS) as a way of visually managing production, balancing the schedule, and managing production flow.

A typical hour-by-hour board tracks the required hourly target and an accumulated hourly target, and compares these targets to the actual production and an accumulation of production for the entire shift.

Hour by Hour manufacturing whiteboard for production tracking
Whiteboards are a great way to start, but they can be inaccurate and are reliant on humans to enter data.

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There are three big challenges with hour-by-hour boards:

Automated Data Capture

Two great benefits from tracking production with an automated monitoring system is that it will be accurate (tracking products by-part), and that it will provide real-time feedback (either on the machine with a visual display, or on a computer as a dashboard).

We find that the best way to track production in real-time is to use a combination of metrics that we call “TAED”: Target, Actual, Efficiency, Downtime. These are:

By comparing Target to Actual, your team can pace production in real-time. They are winning the shift when the Efficiency is at 100% or more. At the end of the shift, the display could then provide instant feedback telling the team that they’ve beaten the target:

Track production with factory floor scoreboard
TAED displays show Target, Actual, Efficiency, and Down Time.
An efficiency of 100% or more, means that you are “winning the shift”.

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If you have multiple machines or processes, an automated system can provide a real-time dashboard for every machine. This will help your managers to allocate resources across the production floor to ensure that every team can win their shift.

Automated production tracking with XL All Production report
The All Production page shows target and actual counts for multiple devices, so that you can allocate resources across the team.

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