Are lean tools and improvement boards always employable?
It seems it's becoming a new hype. Maybe it will be picked up by a regular Dutch vocabulary sometime, to be listed among all the other classical words: “Verbeterbord”, or Improvement Board.
Improvement board & Lean
As Visual Management experts, we work with improvement boards every day. Together with our clients we create a custom-made design/board that fits perfectly in the work process of the organisation. Most TnP clients are familiar with improvement boards because the most of them are often actively involved with Lean implementations, for which Visual Management is an important supporting tool.
I often wonder whether an improvement board can be deployed in every sector and under all circumstances. Is it really necessary to be involved in Lean? Or is the goal "improvement", in whatever field/in whatever situation imaginable, enough in itself? If you’d ask me, the latter!
Think about it:
- Wouldn't a team be able to achieve leaps of improvement in their work processes in any office environment?
- Couldn't I give some tips to the nurse at the hospital where I was the other day?
- Personnel at the supermarket could be more efficient in certain areas.
- Even my own household with three children could run a bit more smoothly by picking up some “improvement actions” ;-)
Any workplace where people are continuously busy improving, an improvement board is indispensable.
Theory or in practice?
I'm curious about what the Internet and Lean experts say about improvement boards. After 5 minutes, I stumble upon an article of the HAN (University of Applied Sciences Arnhem Nijmegen). Nice we're mentioned as a source, but I really can't find any practical tips in it.
For me, an improvement board isn't simply a blanco whiteboard with some tinkered lines and hand-written actions. An improvement board to me, is a magnetic printed board that you can write on and erase, that has added value, due to a number of visual powerful aspects. It has a custom-made design with a pre-printed table, it expresses a visual style that is recognisable for employees, a powerful quote to transform improvement into a culture, and magnetic smileys that are an immediate visual reminder of the status of actions that are still open and/or completed.
I would like to recommend you to choose for a tailor-made improvement board which fits in the working method and corporate identity of your company. Please see the different examples on our website to see what I mean with that. We would always like to think about an appropriate solution for your situation and offer you a proper result.