Team Accountability Board and other visual controls for visual management
Lean Visual Management Systems
Whenever you add a new element to your lean production system,
you should also quickly add supporting lean management elements.
We suggest that you start with visual controls —
which will then quickly require the other 2 elements of a lean management system:
routine accountability habits, and Leader Standard Work.
The term "lean visual controls" can broadly include any intuitively-easy-to-understand system for monitoring
and controlling a process — with examples ranging from kanbans to painted golf balls — but most common is
the visual control chart.
A visual control chart is...
any printed or hand-written chart that:
- is used for monitoring or controlling
any aspect of production
- is posted in plain sight very near the place where the actual work is done
- is frequently updated with the latest results
(timely enough to effectively respond to problems —
not just historical post mortems)
- graphically highlights problems
- has notes clearly articulating the reasons for "misses" (differences between expected vs. actual results)
- can be understood by a newcomer standing 10 feet away
Data inside a computer is not visual (until it is printed)
A visual management system must be visual. Data hidden inside a computer does not meet the above criteria —
until perhaps it is printed, or otherwise reproduced in a way that meets the above criteria.
Hand-entered data is better for
Computer-generated charts and forms
Most lean visual management systems include a diverse assortment of visual controls, each with its own balance of hand-written and computer-generated elements.
Examples of lean visual control charts
|To lead and manage any team||
Lean Leadership, and
|For assessment of each team's overall progress on their lean journey||Lean Assessment|
|For workplace organization and cleanliness — (to reveal problems)||5S Scorecard|
|To keep every team working in alignment with strategic objectives||Hoshin Strategic Planning Policy Deployment|
|Visual Task Assignment Board||Team To Do List —
published on your Team Accountability Board
|To measure expected vs. actual results for ANY measure of team performance||Results Metrics|
To graphically depict the relationship between ANY two factors affecting an issue.
|To publish the results of audits of team performance|
|For a flow operation designed to run at takt time||
Daily Production Pitch Board
and Monthly Pitch Log
|Or to level the flow of both demand volume and mix variety||
and Job-by-Job Tracking chart of expected to actual setup and run times
|Pull system kanban order replenishment||
Expected vs. actual replenishment cycle time
Priority Board Hourly Status chart
|Water spider material supply route||Expected vs. actual route cycle time|
|TPM Total Preventative Maintenance
Chart with worker's initials & actual time that they completed each scheduled maintenance activity.
(Like you see taped to the wall in airport rest rooms)
OEE bar charts and waterfall charts
Create your own visual control charts for any activity of any kind —
using everything you know and
|Find a visual way to compare expected vs. actual results —
with data updated frequently enough for timely response —
with problems highlighted using graphics or colors —
and notes explaining the reasons for every miss.
Own all 150+ templates for visual management and process improvement
What is important about visual controls to you, the leader at any level, is that you understand the reason for having them. By insisting through your standard work that the visuals are maintained and current, visuals constantly reinforce the focus on process. This focus makes it easier to see the contrast
~ David Mann — Creating a Lean Culture
When measures are too green
If any measure is green more than 80% of the time, then consider lowering the water
Lower the inventory, shorten the time, reduce setup times, cross train people...
The only way to solve a problem is to first expose it.
Bookmark = TeamBoard
Team Accountability Board
This Team Accountability Board displays the team's most important visual information, and also serves as the agenda and meeting location for the team's stand up meetings.
The format and contents of each team's bulletin board can vary greatly.
Common elements often include:
- Printed charts summarizing the most important Key Performance Indicators.
(Charts must be kept current — often printed daily, or even more often for particularly time-critical data)
- Sticky note based tracking systems — for Task Assignments and/or Suggestions.
We at Systems2win are more computer-oriented than most, but we really like the sticky note based Accountability Board tracking systems for both Task Assignments and Suggestions as described in Chapter 5 of David Mann's book, Creating a Lean Culture.
We like them for their simplicity, accessibility, visuality, and the "fingerprint" factor of keeping the task or suggestion in the person's own words and hand writing.
Many teams, however, like to also publish printed copies of project status reports on their Team Accountability board — usually sliding the latest printed report into a transparent document-holder sleeve.
Process Observation Point
A Team Accountability Board often doubles as a 'Process Observation Point' or 'Visual Observation Station':
A designated place to easily oberve the process.
Although a Process Observation Point might also have visual controls for
quality, reliability, scrap, cost, pace, or any other Key Performance Indicators...
the most essential element that should be front and center in any Process Observation Point
is a visual control that instantly indicates how well your product is flowing through that work area.
Acid test for Lean Flow
ideally with no further instruction, but perhaps with a brief explanation for:
1) how to read your at-a-glance visual control chart that makes heijunka flow visible for this process
2) how often it is updated — which usually coincides with your Pitch Cycle
(which is measured in hours; not days)
and then ask...
Is this process flowing as expected?
The answer should be either yes or no... red or green... no yellow.
Learn more about why this is the ultimate acid test for your entire lean transformation
Bookmark = storyboard
Lean Storyboard for Visual Management
aka PDCA Storyboard, Improvement Kata Storyboard, Learner's Storyboard
As popularized in the book The Toyota Kata, by Mike Rother, a Learner's Storyboard is a special type of Team Accountability board — used to facilitate and guide interaction between Learner and Coach, and to visually tell the story of the progress of a rapidly-changing PDCA project.
|Lean Learner's Storyboard|
<Brief, compelling vision statement that almost never changes>
See guidelines for how to phrase your Strategic Challenge
Achieve by: <date>
See online training
See online training
PDCA Cycles Record
See online training
Obstacles Parking Lot
of things that you
(You focus on only
Sample Lean Storyboard example — in the format suggested for Toyota Kata Coaching
(publish on a large bulletin board)
Your PDCA Coaching template provides a standard format
that can be used throughout your organization
If you have physical space for 2 separate storyboards near the same process,
then you might decide to follow the Learner's Storyboard approach exactly as taught in The Toyota Kata,
using the PDCA template only in the section of the Learner's Storyboard for PDCA tracking.
Navigating unknown territory?
Use PDCA Coaching
If you use the Systems2win PDCA Coaching template, however,
it does already incorporate every element of the Improvement Kata Storyboard,
so some Coaches might find it sufficiently visual, (and easier)
to simply publish that normal-sized working document in a transparent sleeve
on your (already-existing) Team Accountability Board (described in the section above).
You can purchase a wide variety of transparent document holders from any office supply store.
Perhaps a single sleeve to hold the stapled multi-page PDCA Coaching document, or perhaps multiple sleeves to show each page.
Perhaps supplement the (abbreviated) Current Condition section with a more detailed Process Analysis document.
and other Coaches might want to make things even more visual
by supplementing the report with some personalized format for some large-print or graphic
progress summary on their own personalized Team Accountability Board.
The point is that there's not just one "right" way to communicate your Lean Storyboard.
The important thing is to incorporate all of the essential elements — and make it visual.
"Eventually your organizationʼs storyboard design may evolve to suit your environment and culture. But try to keep a standard storyboard format across your organization, so coaching and communication are easier.
Having a common format for the Learnerʼs storyboard makes it easier for the Coach to go from one Learner to the next."
Mike Rother ~ Author of The Toyota Kata
Do something about the problems you find
A primary purpose of any lean visual management system is to reveal problems.
The assumption is that you will actually do something about the problems that get revealed.
- Perhaps launch a team, or expand the charter of an existing one
- Perhaps your team might maintain a Pareto Chart of the top 3 priority problems you are currently working on — and publish it on your Team Accountability Board.
- Perhaps a team member might volunteer to lead an A3 problem solving exercise.
- Perhaps a problem might prove worthy of a kaizen event.
- Perhaps a problem might need to be escalated to a higher tier of your lean management structure.
- Perhaps a problem might affect and be of interest to the larger value stream.
- If things aren't flowing, re-design the process for lean flow.
If your lean leaders don't actually solve problems as they surface — then people will quickly lose interest, and wonder why they're doing all this extra paperwork to identify even more problems that management ignores.
The relationship between
The primary purpose of visual controls is to quickly and visibly reveal process abnormalities.
Any abnormality should prompt the following 3 questions:
Bookmark = Reading
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