Short Interval Control is the Key to Fast Reaction
Teams that use visual boards are several steps ahead of those that don’t when it comes to short interval control. A daily stand-up huddle meeting, focused on a visual board that clearly reflects what is happening, and what issues have arisen, is one of the most effective methods to see what is going wrong before it has had time to become a major problem.
Short Interval Control techniques originally emerged from factory floor environments. Teams developed data-driven approaches to identify and implement improvement opportunities, and to rapidly identify and react to emerging problems which could adversely affect production.
The core principle of Short Interval Control is simple. We cannot change the past, but we can learn from what is happening before our eyes, and improve, if we put the power to do so into the hands of the people who are actually in a position to make changes.
The same principles that emerged on the factory floor were traditionally viewed as less applicable to less rigid environments such as Quality Assurance departments or Regulatory Affairs, as the quality of the empirical data available in these environments was viewed as being less …. well, empirical.
However, the emergence of high quality, real time, visual management solutions has changed that dramatically. Visually enabled teams now have information at their disposal in real time, all of the time, that at least equals the empirical data of the factory floor. They can see exactly who is doing what, what is waiting, what is becoming urgent, who needs help. Coupling the availability of meaningful data with short, focused stand-up huddle meetings allows visually managed teams to react fast, and solve problems before they become crises. They can use the same Visual Value Alignment techniques to identify improvement opportunities and create value channels that allow such opportunities be turned into reality, by enabling people and teams, at frequent intervals, to see where their taking ownership actually delivers value.