Often people are doing improvement work, but they are not entirely sure whether those improvements are having an impact. One way to see the impact is with a scorecard. This element of the lean management system allows us to understand our performance at a unit level, prioritize improvement, and respond to underperformance. All elements of the lean management system are connected and interdependent on one another. The scorecard is connected to many other components including; performance review meetings, the unit-based leadership team, and visual management. Ultimately, the area scorecard helps us align our work to the system True North metrics.
Here are some things to keep in mind when creating an area scorecard.
Understand the System True North Metrics
Before you begin drafting a scorecard it is important to ensure that you have a good understanding of the system strategy and True North metrics. The True North metrics are a handful of metrics used to guide decisions and gauge progress. It is important that you are very familiar with these as the metrics you choose for your scorecard must impact these measures.
Make What You Currently Measure Visual
Once you have a good understanding of the True North it is time to take an inventory of everything you currently measure in your business unit. It is helpful to write them all down on sticky notes and put them on a wall or whiteboard. You may be surprised at all the things you measure.
Now that the things you measure are visual it is time to start prioritizing. Ask yourself why you are measuring these items and what you do with this information. Do any of these things connect to each other? Do any of these clearly connect to the True North metrics? This is a good time to play catchball with your one up to make sure your thinking is aligned and gain a broader system perspective.
Once you have completed these three steps you are ready to draft your scorecard. Remember that every target must be measurable by data. Each metric should show performance changes quickly, on a weekly or monthly basis. And finally, make sure there is a clear connection to True North, because metrics on scorecard must drive True North.
After the driver metrics on your scorecard are defined, make them visual and talk about them with frontline staff. The staff needs to understand what they are working to improve and why. When you are discussing improvement ideas and problem-solving in your daily huddle be sure to use these metrics as a way to prioritize the work.
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