If you are considering implementing a digital Kaizen board to support your organization’s improvement efforts, congratulations. It’s a smart move that will go a long way toward setting your team up to succeed. We’ve written before about the advantages a digital approach has over a physical board hanging on the wall. But if you’ve never rolled one out before, it can be difficult to know what to look for when evaluating solutions. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know.
We’ve had a lot of experience helping leaders accelerate their improvement efforts with the help of Kaizen boards. Here are a few of the features that they find most useful.
Alerts and Notifications
Employee engagement and effective coaching are the keys to any successful improvement program. Your Kaizen board should not simply be a passive chart. It should have the ability to remind and notify people when they should be taking action. It should also improve coaching by alerting managers when progress is stalled or a milestone is achieved.
The Ability to Manage and View Multiple Boards
Company leaders should be able to gain quick insight into the improvement activities of the entire organization with access to the boards of every group they manage. They should be able to get a quick high-level view or drill down into particular activities for more details.
Custom Configuration and Replication
Each person should be able to customize their board to put the information they need most right at their fingertips. Once you find a layout that works well for you, you should be able to easily replicate it for all of the boards you use.
Anywhere, Anytime Access
One of the main advantages of hosting Kaizen boards in the cloud is that people can access them from wherever they happen to be. It is also important that they be accessible at any time and on any device. You never know when a great idea for improvement will strike. With the right application, your team can capture it before it is forgotten.
It should be easy for managers and leaders to report on improvement work including:
- The number and type of active improvements
- The people who are (and aren’t) contributing to positive change
- The impact of improvements that have been implemented
- Improvement trends over time
As we’ve noted before, one big problem with traditional, physical Kaizen boards is that once an improvement is completed (or rejected) and removed from the board, all of the history around that idea is often lost, or at least no longer visible. The best digital Kaizen boards create a repository of knowledge so that the history of improvement work is always available to those who want to learn from it.
Kaizen board software provides a supporting structure for your improvement efforts. Choosing a solution that includes each of these features will help your team stay connected, engaged, and effective.