– It has to be done with whiteboard and post-its! We where involved in a Lean Research project with one of the most prominent Technical Faculties about ten years ago. We evaluated digital and analog way-of-work with Visual Planning. And analog was far more efficient….
– OK, so what was so much more efficient with the analog way-of-work?
– We noticed that degree of committment to a task was much stronger when you in person had to go forward on the stand-up meeting and sign-up your tasks or actions.
– So how will yousolve that now when you have three contry-sites to coordinate?
– It works fine! We have a webcam in the room and everyone takes turn to speak. When someone from the other sites are taking a note, we move it for them and then we take a phot of the whiteboard and send it over togehter with an email where we list the tasks for each site….
– …besides, it was also shown that it was very important that the Whiteboard was available for everyone at anytime so you could look at your own or others committments. Thats why we created a special room for these Visual Planning Whiteboards that was not bookable from Outlook.
– So it was open to anyone also during the stand-up meetings?
– Yes of course! No secrets across the different meetings! In practice people waited until the room was empty. And most persons also noted down their tasks in the notebooks we gave out for the Visual Planning meetings. Personally I think it was great that people had to write down the assignments and committments by hand.
– But they had to write it down twice then if they did not want to go back to the room?
– Yes, once on the post-it and once in their own notebook?
– Sure. Big deal, huh?
– So you hvae a couple of boards here: One for each project, one for the portfolio, one for each product and one for resoruce management and one for project prioiritzation How do you work with these?
– Well, some of the standup meetings are for one specific board, other meetings are utilizing mulitple boards. By the way, these are just a selection of whiteboards. The others are rolled behind that drapery and pulled out here when they are used in the meetings. You should alweays pull away your board into that room after the stand up meeting….except for the main ones.
– Wow, so how many boards do you have?
– Many. Fire Inspectors told us that we had som many that we where no longer allowed to let them stand in the hallways and Office landscape. So we acquired the adjacent office for storage of whiteboards. Very practical.
– Back to the way-of-work with the mulitple boards, how are you doing there?
– Well, we always have one of the aprticipants to write up copies of the post-its to add to what we call ”linked” boards.
– Linked boards?
– Yes, for instance we have the Portfolio Status board and one Portfolio Prioritization board. They contains the same projects. Therefore we copy notes during the meetings so we can add new notes to ”downstream” boards in our way-of-work with updated information.
…and this HAS to be analog,a ccording to research and are proiducing better value than digital way-of-work?
– Yes, we proved it many years ago!