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Obeya, “Great Hall”, is a project management principle to speed up communication and reduce decision-making time.

Introduction

An Obeya (大部屋) is a Japanese term meaning “Great Hall”, also called cabinet of war ” 1 . An Obeya is a project management principle to accelerate communication and reduce decision-making time2.

The specificity lies in the fact that the walls of the Obeya are devoted to the display of all project management tools : dashboards, tracking indicator, schedule…

CThis specificity makes it easier for the project team to share information. We improve the quality of meetings while reducing their time.

The Obeya Hall

Developed by Toyota, the Obeya room has the particularity of being covered with all the elements necessary to drive the project. The structure is as follows :

 

Source : M. P. Ignace, C. Ignace, R. Medina, A. Contal (2012) – La pratique du Lean management dans l’IT

  1. On the first wall are displayed the need expression, customer audits, projected models and prototype illustrations. We also find an area with all the information related to the subject of the project : product function, list of suppliers … 
  2. The second wall contains the monitoring indicators and the general planning of the project. 
  3. On the last wall is the weekly schedule (task to be done, decision to be taken) and the follow-up of problems.

This type of room can be used for any type of project: new product design, process, service or crisis projects.

Obeya meetings

Every day for 10 minutes, the project team meets in the room to share information and synchronize actions. The standard course is as follows :

  1. We start by reviewing the client voice displayed on the first wall. 
  2. Then we move on to the second wall: we recall the objectives and the macro plan, in order to refocus our minds on the goal of the project and to keep a global vision of the project. 
  3. On the last wall, everyone sticks as much post-it as problems and actions he could identify. In a group, we share these elements, and we identify a manager by post-it.
  4. Finally, we continue with the update of indicators, general planning and weekly planning.

Source

1 – X. Delengaigne, L. Garcia (2013) – Organiser votre temps avec le Mind Mapping

2 – J. Liker (2004) – Le modèle Toyota

M. May (2007) – The elegant solution: Toyota’s formula for mastering innovation

F. Meyer (2014) – Appliquer la ToC Lean Six Sigma dans les services

C. Roche (2013) – Petit guide Lean à l’usage des managers

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