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Understanding the Hour-by-Hour Board: A Lean Tool for Efficiency

By
Veryable Editorial Team
September 6, 2023
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In the world of Lean manufacturing, continuous improvement is the name of the game. Lean principles aim to optimize processes and reduce waste, ultimately leading to increased efficiency and improved quality. One invaluable tool in the Lean toolbox is the Hour-by-Hour (HbH) board. This visual management tool plays a pivotal role in tracking performance, enhancing communication, and facilitating real-time decision-making within the manufacturing environment. In this blog, we'll dive into the background and the numerous benefits of the Hour-by-Hour board as a Lean tool.

The Background of the Hour-by-Hour (HbH) Board

The Hour-by-Hour board, also known as the Hourly Production Board or the Hourly Tracking Board, is a visual display board prominently placed within the manufacturing facility. It was initially developed as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS), which forms the foundation for Lean manufacturing practices. The core idea behind the HbH board is to provide real-time visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs) and production metrics on an hourly basis.

Benefits of the Hour-by-Hour (HbH) Board 

1. Real-Time Performance Monitoring: The HbH board offers an at-a-glance view of current production performance. Tracking metrics such as production output, quality, and downtime on an hourly basis, allows teams to quickly identify issues or deviations from the plan. This real-time monitoring enables faster corrective actions, preventing small problems from escalating into larger ones.

2. Enhanced Communication: Communication is a cornerstone of Lean manufacturing, and the HbH board fosters transparency and collaboration. It serves as a focal point for daily production meetings, where cross-functional teams gather to discuss progress and address any challenges. This open communication ensures everyone is on the same page and working towards shared goals.

3. Data-driven decision-making: The HbH board empowers teams to make informed decisions by displaying historical data alongside current metrics. It helps identify trends and patterns, making it easier to implement improvements over time. Data-driven decision-making is a fundamental aspect of Lean, and the HbH board facilitates this process.

hour by hour board

4. Improved Accountability: When performance metrics are displayed for all to see, it encourages a sense of ownership and accountability among team members. Knowing that their work is being monitored hourly motivates employees to meet or exceed targets consistently. This accountability can drive a culture of continuous improvement within the organization.

5. Reduced Waste: Lean principles aim to eliminate waste in all its forms, including wasted time, materials, and resources. The HbH board helps identify the root causes of downtime, quality issues, and other forms of waste, enabling teams to address them promptly. As a result, waste is minimized, and processes become more efficient.

6. Flexibility and Adaptability: Manufacturing environments are dynamic, and the HbH board allows for quick adjustments to the production plan. If unexpected disruptions occur, teams can adapt their strategies in real-time to minimize the impact on overall production schedules.

7. Employee Engagement: Engaged employees are more likely to contribute their best efforts to the organization. The HbH board engages employees by involving them in the decision-making process and providing a platform for their feedback and suggestions. This engagement can lead to improved morale and a more dedicated workforce.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the Hour-by-Hour board is a powerful Lean tool that offers numerous benefits to organizations. Its ability to provide real-time visibility, enhance communication, and support data-driven decision-making makes it invaluable for those committed to continuous improvement. Embracing the HbH board and integrating it into their Lean practices, companies can unlock greater efficiency and drive sustainable growth in today's competitive manufacturing landscape.

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Veryable Editorial Team

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