Survival of the Digitally Fittest: Digital Dashboards!

Survival of the Digitally Fittest: Digital Dashboards!

There is a famous Meme going around the corporate world these days that captures the exigency of Digital Transformation

It is a short questionnaire asking, “Who is driving Digital Transformation these days in your organization?” The first two options are (1) Is it your CEO? (2) Is it your CTO driving it? and just below, there is a third option marked with a red circle, which reads COVID 19!

The COVID 19 pandemic is a humanitarian crisis that is continuously prompting us to ask questions about our existing ways of doing business and how Digitally Equipped are we to react and deal with this once in a lifetime situation?

If the pace of the Digital world before this Pandemic was fast enough then the luxury of time as well as other resources now seem to have disappeared completely.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation in which individuals and organisations are facing a new reality. We need to work more closely together but ironically in a manner that will keep them away from each other physically. Human beings are social animals and this situation is not something that they are comfortable with, which is creating added stress in conjunction with those created due to the disruptions. In addition to this stressed workforce, organisations are having to deal with an unpredictable supply & demand situation and disruptions in operations creating a crisis like situation daily!  Thus necessitating the need for a structured methodology to bring method to this madness!

This can be addressed by establishing a Digital Dashboard; an initiative designed by Kaizen Institute.


The Objectives of setting up a Digital Dashboard, therefore, would include:

• Visual Management of KPI’s by Leveraging Digital Dashboards

• Creating “Dynamic Digital Obeya” that shares real-time information about the major ongoing Projects within the organization and related KPI’s

• Conduct Daily Team Hurdles using Digital Platforms 

• Manage Multiple Projects Simultaneously using Digital Platforms

• Assign, Track & Review, Plans, Actions & Countermeasures in real-time while working Remotely

Visual Management of KPI’s by Leveraging Digital Dashboards

Types of Measure to Display and Track? 

Create “Dynamic Digital Obeya” that shares Real-time information

What is An Obeya?

“Obeya" is a Japanese word. It means "Big Room", Sometimes also referred to as “War Room “

The theory behind the Obeya is based on a simple idea: “Dedicate Time and Space to coordination and Problem- solving and organizational barriers will be minimized”

What to display in an Obeya room?

Generally, existing measurements and control processes do not work in a Lean environment.

Hence a new framework for Lean performance measurement has to be worked out.

The framework must assist in answering the following 3 Questions:

1. What to Measure

2. How Often to measure

3. How to control

What to Measure?

As Correctly said by Peter Drucker Father of Modern Management “If It Can’t Be Measured it Can’t be Improved” 

Let us take an example: Suppose a heavy-set person has a goal of becoming thin

So, what must be measured...The weight lost…? But the goal is not specific enough so let us re-define our Primary goal – “Lose 15 Kg in 6 Months” (Primary Goal)

But that still does not help with our Obeya display... We must break the goal down further into specific milestones to the Process Level. (Secondary Goals)

So, this could be “Lose 2.5 Kg every month”

Does this alone suffice? NO… This is only a result parameter

we must ALSO measure the process parameters that are going to get us that result

So, we could also measure for example:

Time spent on the treadmill daily (Say against a target of 1 hr/Day)

The calories of food intake daily (Say against a target of less than1500 calories)

No. of Sleep Hours (Against a Target of 8 hours in a Day)

Litres of Water Consumed (Against a Target of 4 litres in a Day)

Key Learning Points 

• Have a well-defined GOAL (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based)

• Break the Goals at all in terms of Result as well as Process Level Goals

• Identify KPI’s at each level that will Measure the achievement of our Goals

• Visually Display all KPI’s 

• All measures must show the desired/ target condition against the actual

How Often to Measure?

The frequency of measurement is determined by:

1.The speed of System change

       The more rapid the change, the more frequent the measurement 

2. The system response time to change

     How long does it take for a change in the process to be reflected in the result (process performance)?

How to Control?

Measurement can NEVER control a process. The team must be prepared to address all problems that arise. Hence organisations must develop a capability to take quick actions and an Infrastructure for quick response action

Without this, the usefulness of the Obeya is almost lost

Some aids in enhancing quick action:

1. Daily accountability board

2. Redline Review system

3. A3 – where teams must be involved for Problem Solving

4. Kamishibai cards

What is Achieved by Setting up a Digital Obeya?

Getting people together, enhancing quick decision making and rapid action while Adhering to Social Distancing policies

Opportunity for Team Members to Voice Concerns and Collaborate

Eliminates Ad-hoc Responses without Root Cause Measures


Vineet Rajak, Consultant & Member R&KD at Kaizen Institute

Satish Bahale, Leader - R&KD & Lead Consultant at Kaizen Institute

About Kaizen Institute

Kaizen Institute is the original and premier provider of KAIZEN™ services of Change Management, Business Excellence, Operational Excellence and Lean.

We support companies of all sizes in all market segments, providing them with a sustainable, competitive advantage. Our Vision is Improving the world with Everyone, Everywhere, Every Day – The KAIZEN™ Way. “KAIZEN™ means Change for the better.”

Kaizen Institute is a global organization which provides consulting and training services to companies represented in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa. We are currently operating in 60+ Countries for 35 years.

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