Taking my own advice (and that of a colleague), we did a life-size mock up Friday of a new, pull-based scheduling system. We did it with the folks who will have to use it.
What did we learn?
· How much physical space it would take
· Our initial thought on label clarity was inadequate
· The concept will likely work
· Three other assumptions were slightly off target
· Batching is built into our DNA
· Flow is tough to learn
How did we learn it?
· We watched the space it would take
· We watched clumsiness in working with kanban cards
· We listened to language
· We watched moods change from comprehension to confusion to frustration to insightful satisfaction
What will we do?
· We handed out three assignments to get at by Monday at 9am
· We scheduled a repeat of the mock up later on Monday morning
In short, we did a pile of learning and a pile of teaching in a mere 90 minutes at virtually no cost just by doing a mock up and simulating three days' production cycle.
No computer screens in sight.
Seven people, sitting, walking, scowling, asking, listening, talking, moving, adjusting, clarifying.
90 minutes. And I truly don't think it would have happened as well had we not done the mock up.
Well worth it.