Open Book Management – Keeping Score In “Real Time”

February 17, 2015

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When was the last time you showed up to a sporting event after the game had already started?   Upon your arrival, what’s the first thing you did?  You looked for the score.  Why?   Because you wanted to know who was winning!

The practice of scoreboarding in business is a common open-book management practice where you post critical numbers for all of the team members to see.   The intention is to share critical numbers to get buy-in from the team and to generate excitement around work performance.  Many businesses post performance numbers daily, while some businesses may only post performance numbers weekly.

We used to post our performance numbers at the end of the every business day.   While this was more than what most of our competitors do, we found that it wasn’t as effective as we thought it would be.   So, we increased the frequency of score boarding from daily to hourly.   Yes, I said hourly.   Here are a couple of reasons why:


1.   Visibility when things are going good and not so good.
If you post results at the end of the day, there’s nothing you can do about it.    At that point, the numbers are historical and you have to learn to live with how you performed, good or bad.   When you are posting numbers hourly, you give yourself more control.   For example, if your rebooking numbers start out lower than expected in the morning hours, you have the rest of the day to bring those numbers up.   You become more aware of things when the information is flowing hourly.


2.  Keeps the team focused.
I was surprised one day when team members started asking where the numbers were after we failed to post them.    That’s when I knew they were paying attention.  Creating a system to ensure information is flowing is how you successfully scoreboard hourly.   We created a checklist grid, similar to what you might find on the restroom door at a Target or other retail store.   You know, the ones where they check off every hour that the restrooms were inspected.   We have a similar worksheet that lists things that have to be done every hour in the salon.   One of those checklist items is to update the scoreboard.   We set a timer to go off (we used to have a timer, now we just use the timer on our smart phones) every hour to remind us to run reports and post the numbers.


Bonus Tip:   Try painting one whole wall in your break room with chalkboard paint.   Then use that wall as your score boarding wall.   It’s a fun way to share information with your team.    Here’s an example of what an hourly scoreboard looks like.



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Located in Austin, Texas.

Chris Murphy