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Topic Title: Virtual / remote Kaizen?
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Created On: 10/10/2017 02:53 PM
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10/12/2017 02:56 PM
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Michael Owens

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience running or participating in kaizen events remotely or from distance.

I realize that "go and see" and face to face interaction is greatly preferred, but in times of travel budget constraints, and with the increasing capabilities of Webcams, FaceTime, immersive 3D environments, etc., there should be a way to make it easier to reach out and coach kaizen. Anyone have any experience / lessons learned?

10/16/2017 10:08 PM
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Susan McDermott

While this is not at all ideal, I have had remote members of kaizen teams. If the team normally works remotely, this is simply an extension of how they work anyway. Another issue is that sharing the problem-solving process via webcam requires perhaps a deeper understanding of the issues than if everyone is shoulder-to-shoulder.

The most-common arrangement I have experienced is when the team's leadership is remote but the kaizen team doing the work is co-located. Report-outs for each step of the problem-solving process are done via Skype. The leader has experience with kaizens and problem-solving techniques. They also have been to the facility where the kaizen is performed and is very familiar with the operation and the people.

So, the ducks must all line up to make this possible even if it is not ideal. The keys are experience, as many co-located as possible, and mimicking the normal work situation. If the gemba is remote, then the kaizen can be remote.

Good luck!
10/16/2017 10:08 PM
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Vinod Singh

Sure, I have been dong this regularly with remote shopfloor. Using whatsapp/skype/messenger using smart phone camera itself and wifi connectivity. Sessions even continued for hours altogether and involved hand held Kaizen guidance.
10/23/2017 03:08 PM
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Ansgar Pinkowski

Good question Mike, I'm driving most of the projects remotely and happy to discuss what are good tools to be used in Workshops via Skype. I love to stick post-its at a wall or use a whiteboard to freely conduct process mapping, etc. but didn't find a suitable tool to do this via skype. I found that using Visio or other MS products is taken the attention away from the audience. More interactive tool would be great. Any idea?
11/17/2017 10:12 AM
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Scott McNamara

First time posting! I have figured out a pretty good option for virtual Kaizen. Still not the same as being there. Essentially I use a Samsung Tablet connected to my laptop. I run Vysor (app) which mirrors my tablet screen to the laptop. Using Zoom (virtual conferencing tool), I share my screen. This allows the participants to see on the receiving end, a "white board" as I draw out the maps and diagrams and can provide feedback in real time. When we have all agreed on a process, I can easily save it as draft for creation in Omnigraffle.

Works awesome!
10/25/2018 07:29 AM
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Jeff Bottorff

Scott - I would love to hear more about your Zoom experience and conducting Kaizens. We are doing more and more, and the most challenging part we have is the mapping activities so virtual participants can read/be engaged. Would love to connect and learn more. Jeff Bottorff (jbottorff@dotfoods.com)
11/01/2018 07:34 AM
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Cassandra Koitsopoulos

I am also interested in learning about how to conduct virtual Kaizens, and also virtual improvement huddles. Does anyone have a virtual improvement board/performance board and conduct virtual huddles?
11/06/2018 10:36 AM
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Michael Bowerman

I recently ran a Brown Paper mapping workshop at my office and offices in Singapore, South Africa, and the Middle East. We used Skype and found it very effective with all the participants able to actively take part using shared whiteboards. We successfully process mapped our activities very efficiently and also brainstormed Kaizen events having identified bottle necks or duplicated activities during our mapping session. Due to obvious time zone constraints we ran it over two three hour sessions. The feedback was excellent and we plan to expand the experience.
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