In this space, I’ve been sharing a Kaizen tip each month. This month, I’ll address a question that gets asked a lot — where do we hang our Kaizen Board (aka Visual Idea Board)?
One easy answer is that the board should be hung in a location that your staff or team members will walk past frequently. If the board is out of sight, it will more likely be out of mind. Make sure the board is highly visible, as that will encourage more ideas and more improvement.
People often wonder whether the board can be in a public place or if it should be kept private. My personal preference is that it’s OK to hang the board in a hallway that patients and visitors can see. Most Kaizen improvements are not anything to be embarrassed about. The board can be framed in a very positive light that shows that the hospital and its staff are continually working to make things better. Anybody who has stayed in the hospital knows there are problems and things that go wrong… you’re not really hiding that from anybody. So why hide the improvement efforts?
That said, some organizations just aren’t comfortable with that level of transparency – about their improvement work or their performance measures. Kaizen boards (or other “huddle boards”) are often kept in a break room or a meeting room. Either way, make sure it’s in a highly trafficked area for staff, not a far off corner that’s never visited.
Of course, some organizations are using electronic solutions (likeKaiNexus) instead of physical boards.