Mapping out 2015 with ‘swimlanes’

Our social media deliverable "swimlane" includes a blog post schedule, video plans and social media campaigns.
Our social media deliverable “swimlane” includes a blog post schedule, video plans and social media campaigns.

Visitors to our front office may notice some new wall art in 2015.

This Visual Workflow Management system, that we refer to as “swimlanes”, will help us keep track of projects, tasks and deliverables as we work towards our goals this year and in the future.

In the past Cadet has used the these swimlanes for new product development and to complete our rebranding initiative. I learned the idea from “Mastering Lean Product Development” by Ronald Mascitelli.

The last time we used it we were able to cut our lead time in half because it helped keep everyone on task and working collaboratively.

This year we decided as a company to have all departments use some variation of this. In sales and marketing we have posters and sticky notes. In Information Technology we have a large monitor behind the director’s desk.

The idea is each board represents a department, each lane represents a person or area of our business and each sticky note represents tasks that are parts of larger projects.

Sure it might seem like organized chaos but it should give folks an easy way to see what everyone else is up to.

Every Monday morning the directors meet to discuss the tasks for the week ahead and what happened in the past week. That way everyone is on the same page and we can all see how what we’re doing fits into the larger picture. The basic idea is to inspire team collaboration and anyone in the company can walk past these swimlanes and see what people are working on.

Cadet Vice President of Sales & Marketing Greg Klose said that will help people provide input in projects that they might not have been a part of.

“Just because I think doing something in a certain way is the right way, doesn’t mean it actually is,” he said. Getting additional feedback and hearing other ideas will help us in the long run.

Information Technology took a little more high-tech approach to its 2015 roadmap display.
Information Technology took a little more high-tech approach to its 2015 roadmap display.
Steve Capuano

Steve Capuano

Steve Capuano is passionate about motorcycles, kayaking, swimming and hiking, and the work he does for Cadet in his role as Lean Enterprise Champion. Using his ninja-like chameleonic skills, he effortlessly integrates, participates and communicates with each department, and at every level of the business, leading change and managing projects for continuous improvement. He has served for twenty years both as an enlisted soldier and an officer in the New York Army National Guard.

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