Obeya is the Japanese word for "large room" and comes from Lean Manufacturing. Virtual Obeya acts as a central source of information, supporting multiple organisational perspectives and adapts to the needs of the users. Be it lead and lag indicators of business performance at the Enterprise level, or to gain insight into the system in order to make fact based and expedient directional decisions at the Team of Teams level. Each Mado, Japanese for "window", captures a key aspect of information for critical decision making.
Strategy Mado: Visualise the decomposition of strategy to provide remote teams with directional alignment.
Data Mado: Create the ability to aggregate, display and consume information dynamically.
Work Mado: Enables an understanding of status, risks, issues, sequencing and dependencies of the work.
Culture Mado: Support the development of human connection while respecting individual context and boundaries.
We know that organisations that were established in slower, more stable times now need to adopt a more agile, dynamic strategic formulation process that learns and evolves. With the move to remotely distributed teams with less physical contact we need to amplify communication channels and find new ways to ensure clarity and consistency of strategic intent.
The Strategy Mado enables us to deploy a mechanism for information to flow back to strategy planning teams to validate execution. We do this by using a data model that enables taking in more information and insights from across the organisation and the market environment, at shorter intervals, in order to make informed and strategically aligned directional decisions and ensure teams are working on the highest priority work
Through your strategy mado you should be able to see:
- Medium to long term strategic intent
- Maps of the landscape / ecosystem(s) in which you operate
- Current objectives and key results
Metrics represent a window into understanding the progress, performance and flow efficiency of your organisation. Remote environments require the ability to aggregate, display and consume metrics dynamically. The Data Mado creates the ability to mine and display data which can be examined, tuned, enhanced and added to as situations change.
Surfacing risks and issue expediently and transparently in order to enable fact based and data driven decision making is the key role of the Data Mado. It enables the ability to dynamically roll risks and issues up from teams to leadership in a mechanism that is transparent and dynamic.
Through your data mado you should be able to see:
- Key business business performance metrics
- Key delivery performance metrics (e.g. customer lead time, controllable lead time, value vs failure demand, throughput)
- Metrics that help leaders to understand the flow of work through teams (e.g. www.flomatika.com) and make targeted interventions
Used to synchronise the people around a segment of work. The Work Mado enables an understanding of the status, risks, issues, sequencing and dependencies of the work portfolio, building collaboration and alignment across multiple teams.
In a remote setting the Work Mado uses virtual boards that utilise zones containing a combination of dynamic and static information. Used for collaborative planning, complemented by digital platforms and underpinned by data in order to drive directional decisions, transparency and alignment.
Through your work mado you should be able to see:
- Traceability between strategic objectives and high level work items
- How high level work items decompose to teams
- Priority and dependencies between teams and teams of teams
- Risks, issues, assumptions, dependencies and delivery confidence
It’s a mistake to think that social connection requires physical interaction on a daily basis, but it’s also a mistake to think that people can connect over work alone. R:AF organisations place additional focus on social connection to replace the water cooler and tea break catch ups that create networks beyond team work. We carefully design activities to bring people together based on interests rather than expertise - games, hobbies, puzzles, challenges etc - that run as events or asynchronously using turn based models.
The Culture Mado makes these activities visible and accessible, deliberately designed to attract new entrants, whilst also making aspects of team agreements visible so that working hours and meeting hours are clearly articulated.
Through your culture mado you should be able to see:
- Your organisational values and how they manifest through narratives
- The people who are delivering value and the teams that they are working with (www.teamform.co)
- Things that connect you to the human side of your teammates (e.g. remote:af’s “Story:Me” - https://miro.com/miroverse/connection-in-remote-working/)
- Appreciation of teammates (e.g. a digital 'Kudos wall')
- Opportunities for learning / connecting / socialising outside of the team context