I found this story today about the newly developed ‘Paperless’ Boardroom at Toyota. By utilizing and combining IT technologies a boardroom was created that allows for a variety of electronic data management functions.
The article purports that this application of technology eliminates waste by not having to provide directors with large stacks of printed information that may change before it is needed. Here are some of the highlights of what the boardroom enables:
· Access to information with last-minute changes on the system including alerts to changes
· Greater accessibility of information
· Information is more easily audited
· All members simultaneously see updated data
Often new technologies and high tech gizmos do not deliver on promised organizational efficiencies. In fact, many times use of new technology creates more waste in a system – hence Toyota’s principle to only use reliable, thoroughly tested technology that serves your people and processes.
I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical. The way this boardroom is being presented as the latest and greatest advancement towards a paperless world makes me wonder if it truly is ‘reliable and thoroughly tested’. That being said, if anyone can pull this off and prove that this new system can eliminate waste, it’s Toyota.
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