Making actions visual


One of the “Lean management” pillars are the daily accountability processes, when assignments and tasks are reviewed and results (positive or not) are shared.

This is a draft of a very simple task board: one row for each person and a column for task status:

  • Scheduled (column 1): tasks to do, not started yet.
  • In progress (column 2): tasks that are being implemented but not finished.
  • Waiting (column 3): tasks in progress, waiting for other people’s work.
  • Finished (column 4): tasks finished, their effectiveness is being evaluated.
  • Actions (column 5): additional actions needed during the effectiveness check.

It can be completed with additional features like capacity management (make each sticky note or magnet bigger or smaller depending on how many working hours are needed to complete the task), capacity control (do not allow anybody to have more than 3 actions in progress), task status (color magnet to show if tasks are progressing ok or not) and many more.

The most important thing to remember is that quality is much more important than quantity: do not start hundreds of actions at the same time, hoping that some of them will work. Select carefully a few of the most critical ones and then implement fast so that you can quickly learn from the results and feed your PDCA cycles.

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