A digital whiteboard is a new way to support the improvement process. What are the advantages compared to a traditional whiteboard?
Whiteboards in the improvement process
Traditionally, the improvement process follows the Kaizen principle of continuous improvement. Throughout the entire company, improvement ideas are collected, particularly from the work floor. These proposed improvements are transformed into improvement activities, so the work process will actually change.
Whiteboards are perfect for noting, judging, and comparing improvement proposals: uniform, visual, and accessible for all. The proposals are judged using an effort/impact matrix that must clearly show why one proposal is carried out, while another isn’t (yet). The transparent filtering process keeps everyone involved and motivated to come up with new proposals.
Oftentimes, the one in, one out principle is used; finish one proposal first and then move on to the next.
The classic whiteboard is a big board with Post-its, located in the middle of the work floor. During the day, anyone can easily place a Post-it. Different colors can represent different themes or departments. The center of the board holds the effort/impact matrix. The right part contains a so-called swim lane, that shows who is working on what.
Even though traditional whiteboards are quite functional, there is really room for improvement. These are a few drawbacks of physical whiteboards:
- It’s not easy for a large organization to use them between multiple departments. How can you do the superordinate work? How do you physically take Post-its from one department to the next?
- Post-its can get lost. They don’t stick very well after a few replacements and can get lost in an unattended moment.
- There’s no overview or room for analysis. How many proposals do you have? What is the quality of the proposals still to come? Do the proposals really bring the expected improvements? Are improvements consistently over- or undervalued? Insights like these can really enhance improvement proposals. Cierpa Kaizen has been offering support in this area for years, even on traditional whiteboards.
In the last few years, prices for digital whiteboards have dropped considerably. They are now an attractive option for large-scale roll-out and to include them in the development of our improvement method.
That’s why we developed the digital whiteboard, a visual layer within Cierpa Kaizen. It’s possible now to add more structure and overview and to integrate improvement proposals with the Kaizen improvement technique.
With digital whiteboards at every desired location, they can be used by anyone in the organization. Improvement proposals can then easily be transformed into improvement activities within Cierpa Kaizen.
Digital whiteboards are an asset to the improvement process:
- Nothing gets lost anymore
- Proposals from different departments are easily collected
- It’s easy to classify proposals
- It’s easy to convert a proposal into an activity and assign it to a team or person in Cierpa Kaizen.
- The analytical options chart the proposals perfectly: how many proposals are submitted and executed, what is the true value of the proposals, what are the trends of the most successful improvement activities?
A digital whiteboard makes continuous improvement much easier and faster.
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