Creating a Visual Workplace at the Lean Donut Shop | Episode 6

Quite often the process for doing something is at fault for the lack of teamwork in an organization.

Poor process design can isolate individuals or otherwise make it challenging for them to truly work together.

At the Lean Donut Shop we struggled to coordinate kitchen prep activities because when we first opened the storefront all of this work was “invisible” to everyone but the one person put in charge of kitchen prep. The work was visible only inside their brain!

You can’t easily create teamwork or accountability in an environment like this. The work must be made visual first so that anyone can survey the situation in the workplace easily and at-a-glance.

We did this by using an application of kanban cards to make the invisible work visible on the wall of our walk-in cooler.

Now, anyone can enter our stall and immediately see what work needs to be performed.

This single change made sharing the responsibility of kitchen prep possible overnight. We explained the tool, taught our employees, and ran into far fewer stock-outs and emergencies in the stall.