As organizations design and deploy their internal lean enterprise business systems, it is imperative that they focus on making continuous improvement part of their employees’ daily work. To do so they’ll need a mechanism to visualize performance and sustain their improvement efforts. Kamishibai (or K-Cards) offers a simple way to do this. We at Incito have utilized the insights gained as former leaders within the Toyota organization by coaching our clients in the art of the Kamishibai process.
What Is Kamishibai?
Kamishibai was first practiced in Japan by street performers, as a means of relaying a tale through a set of visual illustrations that would help the listener follow along. In a sense, this is where the initial idea of a “storyboard” came from, and it has been an effective means of demonstrating concepts to people ever since in a wide variety of applications.
Kamishibai is used today as a simple visual (card based) communication methodology designed to standardize and sustain the incredible gains that are realized through a true lean enterprise deployment. Kamishibai cards provide a true “line of sight” that helps you visualize your overall daily business performance.
How Kamishibai Cards (“K-Cards”) Work
The cards used are double sided, with green on the top, which is displayed when there is no violation to standard work. Red is on the bottom, and when the card is turned so that red is facing up and the text can be read, it means there is a violation to standard work. Yellow is on the back of the card and is the neutral position of the card before a check has been carried out.
Is Kamishibai a Solution?
A true Kamishibai process is a way of learning and an essential model that will help you gradually establish a new way of seeing and thinking through simple yet powerful visual communication. When implemented correctly, Kamishibai cards allow all levels to:
See What Is Actually Happening
See problems at a glance, while they’re still small
Understand what methods are working well and what needs immediate focus and improvement
Visualize performance in terms of posted goals, objectives, and key performance indicators
Teach others to see and solve problems
Provide an effective methodology for coaching and deployment of daily management principles
Display standards through simple and effective visual indicators
Visually demonstrate commitment to standards
Motivate and drive accountability across the organization
Coach target and actual conditions while gaining complete alignment across your organization on how to iterate improvement activities toward common goals
Establish relationships and trust between leadership and team members
Identify existing communication gaps between operators and leadership
Speak with employees, to hear where they need support and what problems are not getting resolved
Why Implement the Kamishibai Process?
Simple and easy system to install and initiate
Can be applied to any industry, business, company, division and work group at any level within the organization
Designed to meet your business system needs
Easily converted to a virtual system if required
Requires minimal training for use, and prompts visual checks to ensure 100% completion
Ensures standardization of improvements
Allows standard visual management of critical sustainment checks
Teaches others to see and solve problems through quick and intuitive visual management
Displays clear visual status of completion of standardized activities in real time
Ensures standard required checks are visually prompted and completed in a timely manner
Controls standardized processes within their infancy through visual management that allows stronger stability
Assists everyone in finding problems while they are minimal
Is Kamishibai the Right Solution for Us?
Are you having difficulty sustaining your overall lean improvements?
Are you buried with extensive and lengthy performance review meetings that are long and drawn out with little accountability or impact?
Are you challenged with deploying standards within your organization?
Is visual management non-existent or superficial within your working environment?
Is it difficult for you to understand how you are performing on a daily level?
Are you burdened with complex reports, spreadsheets, and KPIs that are not being reviewed?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” consider enlisting the help of an experienced Kamishibai consultant like Incito. We work with you to transform every aspect of your business in order to ensure effective alignment between your lean journey and your daily management processes. Receive world-class coaching and make continuous improvement part of your organization’s daily work. Connect with us today to learn more.