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Breaking the barriers of Communication


Piyush 2015-03-06


A good start is half the battle won. The adage is quite true about communication too!

Communication is a dynamic process where one becomes able to share information and ideas meaningfully. The Wikipedia states that, “The process of communication is what allows us to interact with other people; without it, we would be unable to share knowledge or experiences with anything outside of ourselves. Common forms of communication include speaking, writing, gestures, touch and broadcasting.

In a diverse workplace 80% of the problems lie in faulty communications and not in strategic planning or accounting. A verbal miscommunication may cause huge repercussions to an employee as well as the organisation. An employee should be able to freely communicate and understand clearly defined goals, problems and end results. A healthy workplace should encourage verbal and non-verbal interaction in order to nurture a Lean Culture. Improvement in metrics like quality, cost productivity, safety, etc. should be displayed so as to fuel the progress in the organisation.

Breaking the barriers of Communication

However, with data streaming in from all departments it becomes an uphill task to push everybody in the right direction. So how do you involve your people in improving the system every day.

Well, in a Lean workplace, a Communication Board is one of the coolest methods to inform everybody about the situation. It is an essential tool that enables to see and improve upon any given situation. It facilitates matters to be seen from the organizations perspective and thereby reduces the chances of miscommunication. It develops the people’s ability to understand their functions and helps them see how others function. A healthy dose of communication will resolve all your queries. A centrally located Communication Board not only facilitates the daily communication of key variables but stimulates the individuals towards change.

A Communications Board is a means of

  • Sharing the purpose and ensuring uniformity
  • Sourcing problems and solutions
  • Identifying and reducing Waste
  • Enabling Team-work

The board should be maintained & updated by the entire team. Nevertheless it should be placed at a prominent location with markers and duster kept handy for use. The updates should be noted before the daily meetings by a designated person.

The following charts should find a place on the Board:

  • The Policy Deployment Matrix toillustrate the goals, missions, measures and results for the area
  • Concern, Cause & Countermeasure (3C) Chart toraise and discuss concerns in daily meetings
  • Performance Charts to align with strategic goals and to expose and quantify waste in the processes
  • Quality Chart such as Histograms, Cause and Effect Diagram, Graphs, Control Charts etc to analyze variance, reworks, rejections etc.
  • Management Audits
  • Progress Charts
  • A Skills matrix to show thestages of development
  • A Task Allocation Chart – who’s working on what projects
  • A Leave Roster
  • General Company notices
  • A Communication board will make the state and condition of processes easily accessible and very clear to everyone. So when are you going to set up your own board!

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