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The Role of the supervisor in Lean Production

In any organization the supervisor plays a critical role in achieving the daily/weekly/monthly production goals in terms of quality and productivity as well as establishing a safe and stable environment for work activities as a number one priority.

Supervision is leadership and in fact some organizations call supervisors as Front Line Leaders in order to emphasize the importance and the criticality of this role. Of course the first responsibility of a leader is to be with his/her team on the shop floor nearly 100% of the time!

Some people might say that is impossible and cannot be achieved! Well the answer here depends on our definition of the roles and responsibilities of the supervisor and below are just examples of the R&R of the supervisor in Lean production systems (from our simple experience)

  1. Ensure a Safe, clean and Organized workplace ( 5s+1)

  2. Goal and priority setting

  3. Create a teamwork environment that strives to meet and exceed Production goals

  4. Adherence to standard work for every process including line clearance

  5. Develop defect prevention mindset, everyone-everytime-everyday

  6. Monitor Key performance Indicators on regular intervals and ensure sloid actions are taken to address any deviation from targets and follow-up until completion

  7. Continuous improvement and update of the standard work (every 3 months at least) and ensure that every employees are involved and engaged!!!

  8. Develop a solid  versatility Matrix ( cross training matrix) to ensure that line is running all times and be able to handle resource fluctuations

  9. Continuous operator coaching and developing

  10. Effective and timely decision making

  11. Continuous rewards and recognition of good performance


 At Xi Horizons Consulting we have developed and implemented a unique supervisor coaching program at different industries and the results was outstanding supervisor performance!

To learn more about our supervisor coaching program, email us at:

Dr. A.Hakeem Hammad,

CEO, Xi Horizons Consulting

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