What does your scoreboard say?


Airplane instruments are a pilots scoreboard

Every person and organization needs a Scoreboard to keep track of their progress towards achieving their Goals.  Scoreboards are a feedback mechanism that allow us to determine, if the results we are getting are on track with our Goals.  Our Goals need to be in alignment with the results we are achieving.  If we find the results we are achieving are different from our Goals, we need to make adjustments to get into alignment.

I often think of this in terms of buying an airplane ticket.  Let’s say I buy a ticket on Delta Airlines to fly from Atlanta, GA, USA  to Cape Town, South Africa.  I buy the ticket with the expectation that Delta is going to get me to my destination halfway around the world.  Delta then pays a flight crew to make a “flight” plan.  The “flight” plan starts with a goal; get the plane and crew safely to Cape Town.  The flight crew sets up milestones along their flight plan.  Once the plane takes off and is in the air, the pilot monitors the planes instruments continually looking for feedback on his current status.  Whenever the pilot gets feedback that he is slightly off course, he makes an adjustment.  Periodically, the pilot hits his milestones because he has made lots of adjustments along his flight path.  Ultimately, the plane and its crew arrive at their destination and achieve the goal of their flight plan.

The pilot has a PLAN or GOAL.

The pilot watches his SCOREBOARD for FEEDBACK.

The pilot makes ADJUSTMENTS to get his current results in ALIGNMENT with his GOAL.

If the pilot has done a good job of monitoring his SCOREBOARD and makes ADJUSTMENTS that get him in ALIGNMENT during his flight he is sure to achieve his GOAL.

Every person and organization SHOULD have a scoreboard, because they need feedback on how they are performing to their goals.  Every person and organization CAN develop a scoreboard that corresponds to their goals.

Do you use a Scoreboard for your personal or organizational goals?  I would love to hear your story in the comments below.

What does it mean to be a Lean Leader?

Being a lean leader is a rewarding job.  You get to work with people and see the immediate payoff of making small incremental improvements everyday.  However, it can also be frustrating at times.  Our work environments are becoming more and more complex.   Processes require people and people have problems.  Problems like increasing complexity in their jobs.  People naturally make mistakes. Then there is the law of entropy, law of entropy says that processes naturally become less and less efficient over time.  Building a culture of continuous improvement is a never ending quest.  There is no finish line for the lean leader, there is always room for improvement in our quest for perfection (which is unobtainable by the way).  Although, each day we can get a little bit closer.

The lean leader is responsible for continuous improvement of the people, purpose, and process.

The People

  • Effectively collaborates cross-functionally across the organization and supply chain
  • Encourage people to expose problems and stays with them to implement true solutions
  • Uses continuous coaching and dialogue to empower people to solve their own problems
  • Builds future lean managers and leaders
  • Supports organizational learning

The Purpose

  • Creates and delivers customer value at the lowest-possible total cost
  • Creates flow through the entire value stream through cross-functional collaboration
  • Develops a problem-solving culture where problems are identified and fixed at the root cause
  • Engages in relentless pursuit of continuous improvement
  • Ensures that the company takes a long-term view, yet is sensitive to the need for immediate actions and waste reduction
  • Creates the learning organization inside the company

The Process

  • Understands how to articulate the implications of an action or choice (systems impact) throughout the entire value stream
  • Goes to the worksite to understand and solve problems at the root cause
  • Knows not to complacent with current processes
  • Teaches fundamental problem solving (PDCA) to find problems, define them, fix them, and kepp them from coming back
  • Creates a formal, effective process for sharing best practices