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We Help Operations Managers to Conceive and Actualize Their Industrial Visions Based on the Lean Manufacturing Culture

We Help Operations Managers to Conceive and Actualize Their Industrial Visions Based on the Lean Manufacturing Culture

Catchball: word used in baseball which means « the throwing and catching of the balls ». It is written in Japanese as follows: キャチボール.

What is Catchball?

Remember a childhood game where kid stand in front of each other or in a circle passing ball and catching. Catchball is similar concept in term organizational context, it creates bi-directional or two-way feedback loop as in the game of catch where everyone knows who is next in line for the action. It is a method for instilling intention with precision through different people. In the process of Policy Deployment (Hoshin Kanri), the Catch Ball sessions are the ideal moment where the Manager and his team define and validate together the different indicators. It is necessary to first understand the words and the intention of the person and then respond correctly. It is an essential spirit of communication in the company.

Working Methodology:

Catchball work as a technique where managers Initiate ideas for management objectives of his team. The team then provide their input and ideas in return. Regardless of who initiates a Idea that leader generates the purpose, objectives and other concerns and then 'throws' them to the other team members for feedback, support and action. Process is repeated until it reaches a general agreement. Head of Departments then repeat the process with their managers, and so on, until the goals spreads across the organization.

Why is Catchball Important?

  • Catchball is most suitable for complex processes when many functions or departments are going to be involved.
  • It brings clarity in ownership and accountability
  • Increase information sharing, feedback, and ideas from people at all levels across the organization.
  • Speed up the process of continuous improvement.
  • Increase information sharing between cross-functional teams.
  • Goals and objectives are better alligned
  • When looking at new ideas or plans for your organization catchball can provide a better understanding of the practical aspects of your plans and describe all the chances of success or failure.
  • The most important benefit of catchball is that everybody will be comfortable with it.
  • It promotes the lean culture of horizontal functions or department not vertical.

To learn more, we invite you to read our newsletter n°26: How to fail at one’s own Lean deployment .

Catchball

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