How a single metric can help the team members engage and become a real team – Guest post by Marcus Hammarberg

This is a guest post by Marcus Hammarberg, author of Salvation: The Bungsu Story, How Lean and Kanban saved a small hospital in Indonesia. Twice. And can help you reshape work in your company. (available on Amazon)

This is the second post on a series by Marcus Hammarberg about how metrics can help engage, motivate and ultimately push a team towards success!

When we first started to work with the Bungsu hospital they were in a devasting situation.

Fast forward 1,5 years and you would see a hospital that was making money every day.

In the end, we turned the hospital from a situation where only the director and her closest staff cared, to a situation where 100 people in the hospital were actively engaged in everyday improvements.

How is this possible? What kind of magic was applied?

Click to learn more about how you can help your PO

Keeping engagement when the bad news hit – Becoming a team!

In the last post, I wrote about the importance of finding one engagement-sparking-metric that matters and how we accomplished that. In this post, I wanted to share some of the effects that this number created and how that was kept engaging during a long period of time.

During the next 6 months after we started to track “patients served per day,” we saw inspiring evidence that this metric was engaging and was illustrated powerfully the core purpose of the hospital.

The first obvious sign that no-one would have missed was the ritual that quickly emerged in the morning prayer-meeting. A proper morning prayer as this was a Christian workplace. Here’s what started happening…

Right after that short morning prayer, we rolled in the whiteboard with the big graph.

Right after that short morning prayer, we rolled in the whiteboard with the big graph. The director, Dr Lillian, announced the numbers from the day before.

You could almost touch the excitement in the room and a big “oooooooaaAAAAA!” manifested itself for really good days, as the pen went higher and higher in the graph.

You could almost touch the excitement in the room and a big “oooooooaaAAAAA!” manifested itself for really good days!

In days when we didn’t reach our break-even number, a sigh of disappointment was heard and that bothered me at first. Often someone stepped up and started an encouraging rhythmic clapping to counter the disappointment. I was happy that everyone was engaged in how the hospital was doing, and interested in the daily results in that one key metric.

A few weeks in, we even added a final send-off call-and-response cheer (“Bungsu hospital – how are you?” – “We’re great!”) that we all did together before each day’s work. It was pretty cheesy but worked wonderfully to shape us into a team.

On the way out of the morning prayer room, the conversations were bustling with comments, cheers and high fives in days that had great results. Or head hung low, hugs and clinched fists if we were hoping for better days.

By showing and frequently updating the one key metric, we had the common goal that helped shape us into a team.

By frequently showing and updating the metric that mattered we did not only keep the whole staff interested and engaged but it actually shaped us into a team with a common goal. The metric review every morning achieved that!

In the next post, I will tell you how that took flight with one particular person and how her engagement turned into an idea that saved the hospital in those early stages of our journey.

Do you need the one metric that matters to engage your team? This booklet is for you!

In the Bungsu’s Pirate Code for Visualization downloadable booklet I will go into details on how we made this “one metric that matters” engaging, kept it relevant and ultimately saved the hospital by keeping our focus there – using what we referred to as the Bungsu Pirate Code. Click here to download your guide to using the “one metric that matters” in your own team.

This is a very actionable tool that you can you use today in your organisation to make your visualizations matter to everyone all the time.

The Bungsu Story is a fascinating account of a real-life crisis, and how Agile, Lean and Kanban saved the Hospital from bankruptcy! Twice! Get ready for the journey, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Click to learn more about how you can help your PO

About Marcus Hammarberg

Marcus is the author of Salvation: The Bungsu Story (available on Amazon), an inspiring and actionable story about how simple tools can help transform the productivity and impact of an organization. The real-life stories in The Bungsu can help you transform the productivity of your team. Marcus is also an renowned author and consultant in the Kanban community, he authored the book Kanban in Action with Joakim Sundén.
You can link with Marcus Hammarberg on LinkedIn, and connect with Marcus Hammarberg on twitter.