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How to Evaluate Visual Project Management Tools

Posted by Maggie Millard

Jun 13, 2019 7:42:00 AM

We’ve received a bunch of responses to our recent posts about visual project management. Many of our readers have shared their stories about how moving to visual management has helped them get more projects completed and to better understand the results of their improvement efforts. Other readers have asked questions about what to look for when selecting tools for visual project management. Of course, every organization has different needs, but some capabilities are useful across the board. Here are the features we suggest considering when evaluating visual project management tools.

How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management

Kanban View

Kanban boards are among the most popular visual project management tools available. Elements of work in progress are presented in columns that represent items yet to be started, work that is underway, and completed tasks. Visualizing work int his way makes it instantly obvious when there are backlogs or bottlenecks. The goal is to improve the flow of work so that there is no waiting and forward progress is maintained.

When looking for project management technology, be sure that there is a customizable Kanban view so that each team can tailor their board to their unique needs. The solution should allow users to drill down into each task for background and more detail.

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Topics: Software, Visual Management

What is Visual Project Management?

Posted by Lisa Hanna

May 31, 2019 7:42:00 AM

Howard Earl Gardner is an American developmental psychologist and the former John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He has written hundreds of research articles and more than thirty books that have been translated into multiple languages. He is best recognized for his theory of multiple intelligences, which he explained in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. He argues that people process information differently, and therefore, there are many ways that people learn and process information.

One type of intelligence that Gardner studied is spatial intelligence, which is the ability to gain understanding from pictures or other visuals. While everyone benefits from a different mix of the more than seven types of intelligence, most people tend to respond to visuals because they offer a concrete way to organize abstract information.

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Topics: Software, Improvement Process, Visual Management

8 Ways Virtual Huddle Boards Accelerate Improvement

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 29, 2019 11:55:24 AM

Huddle boards are a popular visual management technique that is often used in conjunction with a daily huddle meeting. Teams gather around to chat about the top priorities for the day. Daily incremental improvements are discussed and evaluated. The intent is fantastic, but there are some significant limitations when using a physical board hanging on a wall. That’s why there is a trend away from physical boards to virtual ones. Modern cloud capabilities make it easy and inexpensive for organizations of all types to gain the advantages of digitizing their huddle boards. Here is a look at some of those benefits.

How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management

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Topics: Daily Improvement, Daily Lean Management, Visual Management

Visual Management Software Features that Excite Executives

Posted by Maggie Millard

Apr 4, 2019 8:32:00 AM

As I prepared to write this post, I did a Google Search of, “Visual Management Software,” just to see what popped up. The top 4 posts were about visual project management software. So, it’s not surprising that lots of folks think that’s all there is to visual management technology. Project management software is something that executives will often approve for other people to use, but not something they get excited about for their own use.

But visual management is much more than just project management. Ideally, the entire organization would be managed visually. Why? Because, when presented with information visually, people are significantly more likely to understand and retain it than if the information is presented in other ways. Visual management makes it easier to identify problems and interruptions in a workflow or process. Visual control is a powerful tool for continuous improvement. It makes it easier to engage workers, gives leaders critical insight into operations, and helps to ensure results come in as expected.

We’re not talking about a simple task manager app; we’re talking about using visual management software as the dashboard for running the organization. Here are some of the features that the C-suite will love.

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Topics: Software, Continuous Improvement Software, Visual Management

Webinar Preview | How to Use Process Behavior Charts to Improve: Case Studies

Posted by Maggie Millard

Mar 14, 2019 8:22:00 AM

We recently had the honor of hosting a webinar with our Senior Adviser, Mark Graban, author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More as the presenting guest. Mark’s new book focuses on managing variation, understanding data, and leading improvement. Mark has been a part of KaiNexus in various capacities since 2011. In Addition to Measures of Success, he is also the author of Lean Hospitals, Healthcare Kaizen, and Practicing Lean.

Over the last couple of years, Mark has been interested in how organizations can use data to differentiate between signal and noise. This post is a recap of Mark’s presentation. However, the webinar contains many more valuable examples, so we highly recommend that you watch the webinar.

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Topics: Improvement Process, Webinars, Visual Management

Webinar | Metrics & Statistics Don't Have to be Scary

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Mar 5, 2019 8:01:00 AM

A while back, we recently had the honor of hosting a webinar with our Senior Advisor, Mark Graban, author of "Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More." Mark’s new book focuses on managing variation, understanding data, and leading improvement. Mark has been a part of KaiNexus in various capacities since 2011. He is an internationally-recognized consultant, published author, professional speaker, and blogger. Mark has a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Northwestern and a Masters in mechanical engineering and an MBA from MIT.

This post is a recap of Mark’s presentation. However, the webinar is full of examples that will make a lot more sense if you see the charts that he uses by way of explanation, so we highly recommend that you watch the webinar.

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Topics: Quality, Webinars, Visual Management

7 Signs That Your Organization Needs Visual Task Management

Posted by Maggie Millard

Feb 11, 2019 12:37:00 PM

When I was a kid, my mother helped motivate and organize her workforce (aka, my sisters and me) with a chore chart. Each week we had tasks assigned and got to put a sticker on the chart when the job was satisfactorily completed. This wasn’t exactly an innovation in parenting, but it worked well for our family. We each knew what we had to do and adding the sticker was a small reward and a visible reminder that we had done what we were asked.

We don’t really need “chore charts” in business, of course. But the advantages of organizing work visually are even more apparent. After all, navigating an entire organization toward breakthrough strategic objectives is far more difficult than getting four kids to straighten up.

How do you know if your organization could benefit from visual task management? Here are some pretty telling signs.

How Leading Companies are Improving Visual Management

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Topics: Visual Management

The Lean Visual Management Tools Your Team Will Love

Posted by Ryan Rippey

Jan 28, 2019 4:19:53 PM

Although the overarching objective of Lean management is to create an unhindered flow of value to the customer, another of its primary concerns is transparency. If you can see roadblocks, process irregularities, resources that aren’t at capacity, and poorly aligned goals you can do something about them. That’s why so many Lean tools are designed to allow visual management. People process images much more quickly than text (knowing what’s going on around you is somewhat central to staying alive), that’s why icons, signs that use color and shape, and dashboards are so popular.

Over the years, many valuable tools for Lean visual management have evolved. They offer significant benefits for leaders and team members alike. Here are a few that we’re sure your team will appreciate.

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Topics: Lean, Visual Management

What Are the Most Popular Methods for Managing Continuous Improvement?

Posted by Matt Banna

Jan 10, 2019 8:11:00 AM

Organizations that embrace the continuous improvement approach to business have many great tools and techniques from which to choose. Some organizations use them as part of a structured methodology like Lean, Six Sigma, or Toyota Kata. Others leverage them on their own. Every organization has unique needs and will need to adjust each method for their own environment, but the most popular techniques are flexible enough to be used by organizations of every size and in every industry.

 

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Topics: Lean, Improvement Process, Improvement Methodology, DMAIC, Visual Management

The Essential Features of Visual Project Management Software

Posted by Clint Corley

Jan 3, 2019 7:41:00 AM

Lately, we’ve been having lots of conversations with people who have decided that 2019 is the year they will truly embrace visual project management. This is smart. Because of the way the human brain processes information, using charts or graphs to visualize complex data is more natural and more effective than reviewing spreadsheets or reports. Data visualization is a quick way to convey concepts in a manner that can be understood by almost everyone. If you want to get more improvement projects completed this year and gain better insight into how your team is working to cause positive change, then visual project management software is the way to go.

As with any category of technology, not all solutions are the same. We recommend looking for a visual management platform that will support your needs today - as well as those that may become pressing in the future. These applications are pretty sticky once you start using them, so making the right choice in the beginning is critical.

Here are some of the features you can expect from the best solutions.

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Topics: Software, Visual Management

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