If you want to step out of the day to day to focus more on “working on the business” you need systems and tools in place to ensure that the farm continues to run well without you. One tool we use is a monthly Manager Farm Walk Audit.This is essential an audit of the whole farm. The management team get together on a monthly basis and audit the entire farm against a number of criteria on an audit sheet. They take their audit sheet (which has around 50 items under specific categories to check such as pasture management, shed, maintenance, people, safety, management, animal health) and do a lean “go look see” activity, walking around each farm (each farm has own audit) and observing what condition its in and recording any corrective actions/ improvements needed. They give each item a rating of either OK or NO GOOD and give the farm an overall score. Notes are recorded against each check item and the audits/ notes are given back to each farms’ assistant managers to review, share with their teams and improve on before the next month. The assistant managers also discuss the results during the monthly Big Picture Breakfast meetings which are held the first week of every month (the week after the audit is done). This is a good way to keep one foot on the ground and in touch with what is happening. Importantly it helps to build confidence in the system and team.
You can get the template we use from the online shop.