Posted by: knightbird | September 16, 2010

Have You Seen Our Board?

Chugachmiut has a plethora (there, I used my big word for the day) of white magnetic boards hung on walls everywhere. We call them our Process Control Boards. As we have implemented Lean, we use our boards to inform staff, customers and guests about our initiatives and improvement events. As we struggle to figure out how the boards can be used most effectively, it’s interesting to note how departments are using them. But what I am hearing more often now is the question, “Have you seen our board?”

Our Grantwriting board lists grants considered, the employee tasked with writing the grant, the due date, progress to date stated by percentage completion, and additional considerations particular to that grant. Our Communications board contains a number of A-3’s, each of which contain an implementation plan that is monitored by a blue (completed), green (on target), yellow (behind target but with a plan to bring back to target and red (behind target, no plan, needs help). Our Human Resources board contains projects listed for current and future state. The same blue—red monitoring scheme is used, but because the projects are written directly on the board, magnetic colored round magnets are used to monitor progress. There are also A-3s contained on the board.

We are missing some basic important data such as employee measures. The measures I feel are important include employee satisfaction, training and turnover. We are also close to implementing the IDEAS program I wrote about much earlier. Based on a Mitsubishi initiative, our IDEAS program is an effort to build creativity into the culture of Chugachmiut. I might add that the effort is going extremely well since our employees feel empowered to implement many ideas immediately. But since we value people, and our people make programs happen, we know we need to measure what makes them happy and productive.

Boards are starting to become a source of pride for our employees. Initially, many boards were sparse and carried A-3s that were not well thought out or structured. As we gain knowledge and maturity, and as Lean principles deploy to the far corners of our organization, A-3s are considered as what they were intended to be, a process for making improvements. And boards are being used for what they were intended to, transparency and information.

Have you seen our board is something you are hearing more and more as the Lean culture embeds itself into Chugachmiut.

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Responses

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