The Performance Board Evolution

December 6, 2013 3:20 pm
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I promised a client I would write this story after they said to me……

“Consultants seem to leave a trail of blank performance boards behind when they leave.”

This got me thinking about the life of a Nobo board and its evolution along the business journey. The people, and the information they use to make decisions, progress along a ‘Journey’ as does the Nobo board.

Sometimes Performance Boards emerge when the business is in a critical state, the interval of control is hourly, often demanded by either Health and Safety or Quality Key Performance Indicators. A performance board quickly becomes the point of information. Like a life support machine, it monitors performance to allow the right decisions can be made at the right intervals.

As businesses progress on their improvement journey that board becomes obsolete adding little or no value. Does that mean we should remove it? Referring to last month’s article (The Factory Home) we would say yes, but we should replace it with something different. A good board on the factory floor is amongst the best communication you have.

So as your business develops and changes – how does the Board evolve? Coriolis articulates 5 stages of business performance from ‘Turnaround’ to ‘Excelling’. Below we describe the use of the Board at each stage.


An hourly measurement of one critical indicator – And communicating the importance of this to the shop-floor. Owned by the Shift Manager to ensure corrective actions are taken in the shortest possible time.


A movement to three hourly performance. A review of the day’s progress is often conducted in front of this board, starting to introduce other important metrics. Owned by the Shift Manager, to ensure that Line Leaders are taking corrective actions and understand the critical metrics on their lines.


A daily communication of yesterday’s performance for the shift and week to date. Often likely to include graphs and trends of historic performance. Owned by the Shift Manager and the Line Leaders, to ensure the move away from fire-fighting, driving actions to resolve route cause and also promoting healthy competition between shifts.


A team huddle board, communicating trends, improvements, business news, critical issues and even this week’s birthdays, births or other good news. Owned by the Line Leaders to empower the workforce to be involved, a tool to improve team morale whilst also generating further improvements


In addition to improving, an interactive problem solving station, space on the board to complete fishbone diagrams, mind maps or other techniques. Owned by the Shopfloor to show the rest of the business just what impact they have had in leading the business to a “World Class” position.

Like everything in our business it must change and adapt to the environment around it, there is no right or wrong answer to the journey of the Performance Board. What is important is the people that use it and the information that it contains allow the business to progress in its Journey.

However, don’t under estimate the power of having an hourly board you can wheel into and out of the factory. A change in process or a new line installation can drive the requirements to ensure you accelerate though the journey in a critical area.


Written by Paul Eastwood, Director

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