Gain Huge Benefits from Kamishibai/Coaching Cards

Last week I introduced the concept of a layered approach to support your sustain efforts.  This week I want to go into more depth on coaching cards.

First, let’s do a re-cap.  The three layers of support are coaching cards, leader standard work, and management or Gemba walks.  Each layer supports the layer above it.


Coaching cards, called Kamishibai cards in Japanese facilities are small elements of standard work for team members to complete each day.  The tasks can range from 6S to TPM activities or anything that you want team members to accomplish each day or shift.

You can have team members conduct activities multiple times per shift if required.  Coaching cards provide the area leader with a visual signal that the standard work has been completed.

Coaching cards have a red end and a green end.  You can also use a red side and a green side.  When the standard work is complete by the operator, he/she places the card on the coaching card board.

If they complete all of the standard work, they place the green end or green side up.  If they aren’t able to complete the standard work, they place the red end or red side up.

As a department leader, you can visually see the status of completion when you walk by.  The red or green end shares the status with you immediately.  As a leader, you don’t have to track down employees to ask questions.

Here is where the coaching aspect comes in.  You walk by your department where coaching cards are displayed.  They all are hanging with the green end up.  This is the signal that all of the standard work has been completed.

On you walk through the department you notice some tools haven’t been put in the designated spaces where they belong.  Yet the coaching card shows the 6S activity is complete.  What do you do?

This is a coaching opportunity with the employees of the area.  Take the coaching card and turn the red end up.  I coach companies to laminate them so you can write on them with erasable markers.  You can write a note on the card sharing what you noticed regarding the quality of the standard work.

A better suggestion is to gather the group together and explain your expectations regarding the quality of the standard work.  Don’t single anyone out.  Chances are you don’t know who exactly completed the standard work.

Coaching cards are there to provide coaching opportunities and they are not meant to be punitive.  Share your expectations.  Show employees what you expect.

Coaching cards will have a dramatic impact on the success of your sustain activities.  They are a fantastic tool to ensure items such as 6S and TPM get accomplished daily.  Easy to deploy and use they will help you sustain the Lean basics!

As always, it’s an honor to serve you and I hope this helps you and your organization get a little bit better today.

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