Many product development companies rely on production and development in a multitude of sites around the globe. However, this globalization has a cost where cultural barriers, communication barriers, and time zone barriers actually hinders development and leads to miscommunication, delays, and increased cost. There is a very high cost for being close to customers.
Lean product development has introduced a number of projects and development methodologies that encourages direct communication and that decreases miscommunication, however the lean paradigm focuses on personal communication and by using physical visual aids such as Pulse and Visual Planning boards. A problem is that information is difficult to share across sites but also that information is often lost which hinders information exchange and learning. We chose to call this “in time” communication (units that are not co-located), and communication “over time” (when decisions and planning can not be made synchronous).
In parallel, IT support tools can be said to solve both “in time” and “over time” issues but they are not as visual and appropriate to support the meeting structure as the lean meetings are.
After working with this problem for about 3 years (in 2015). We think we have finally got this right. And what we need to support is:
- Webcams are not needed, when functions for marking and editing are visible and mirrored to all remote boards.
- Standardization (i.e. meeting support) is more important than flexibility. This means that digitalization enables standardization.
- Simplicity and ease of use saves tons of time and money in training, installation and support cost.
- Meetings run best on screens with good touch interface. High resolution is 2nd most important and screen size 3rd most important aspects to support great meetings.
- Multiple connections from distant sites and personal clients.
- Instant (live) updates (no interrupted meetings)
- Version control, all changes and updates are traced (and data can be mined just as in any desktop project management software)
Read the full whitepaper here: Daily management through digital visual planning