The wall charts I were using were good, but had their issues.
I used Kanban boards in the past and loved them. From the beginning of the project, I wanted one. I tried several times to prototype something. But I couldn’t figure it out. I re-read Anderson’s Kanban book (thanks Carolyn!). Still couldn’t figure it out. For about a week, I gave up, thinking maybe a Kanban board just wouldn’t work with this project. There were just too many intricacies.
Something must have gotten into my subconscious, though, because for some reason, almost overnight, I figured it out.
I had used cardboard for my original wall charts. I knew a dry erase board would be better, but they were expensive and I wasn’t sure I could convince management to get me one. I looked around for a cheap alternative and found this video. Voila, Dry erase board + markers and erasers for @ $20. What a bargain.
The board is divided into each step of the process, similar to the original wall charts. What’s really different is the post-its. Each one represents a site. They work in pairs. Green represents the equipment for the site. Yellow represents the circuit. Pink represents a block. Orange is a note that requires attention.
The pros of using this type of board vs the original.
- It accommodates a lot more sites. There are currently 44 on the board with a lot of room to have more (this had been a concern for management with my original boards).
- Its dry erase so I can modify it easily (which is pretty regular). The other boards used tape which was harder to change.
- It shows what people are working on. I can spot a bottle neck a mile away.
- It’s easier to read. The old wall chart had a lot of different colored pins that one had to remember in order to read the board correctly.
- Related—it’s easier to maintain because it doesn’t have so many pins to keep track of. I don’t have to worry about them falling on the floor or being put in the wrong row or column.
- It was less expensive (a little). The other chart required tape, pins, and 3×5 cards. All that added up after a while.
- It was easier to make. The old wall charts required me to make the grids which could take over an hour per board. I then had to make the column headings, the card, and add the pens. For this board–I just slapped some command strips to the back of this baby, drew some lines, added the post-its, and it was to ready.
- It’s prettier. The brown cardboard for the old charts was kind of ugly and ghetto.
- It’s harder to find a site because there are a lot on the board. The old charts were organized by site so I could find them quicker.
- The post-it notes don’t always stick. I keep poster putty nearby. If a post-it falls, I just put a little putty on the back and re-stick. Works like a charm.
Next post—my experience using the board.