Updated: Apr 2
We cannot see the wind, but we can see the leaves and branches moving on the trees. We can see the strength of the wind by looking at the trees.
We cannot see ideas, but idea cards displayed on an improvement board tell us a lot about the strength of the improvement culture.
When facing an improvement board, here are a few things I observe to get a sense of the improvement culture:
The velocity of ideas: what is the aging of the cards? Hopefully less than a few weeks
Quality of the ideas: is there a problem to solve (a gap to close) and a hypothesis with expected results?
Quantity of ideas: what is the approximate ratio of ideas per employee per month? More than 1 or 2 shows a mature system
Employees participation: do I see different names and handwriting on the cards?
One last piece of advice: keep the idea cards simple enough to achieve velocity, quality, quantity, and participation.