Browse Definitions:


Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Catchball is an approach to decision-making in an organization or group where ideas are pitched from one individual to another throughout the group’s hierarchy and divisions. Part of lean strategy, catchball  is based on the simple, non-competitive game of catch in which players toss a ball among themselves.

Catchball provides an inclusive way to share information and ideas among teams or members at all levels of a company. The process is intended to encourage those who have ideas out of their area of specialization to share them. In this way, catchball helps generate good ideas that might otherwise go unheard.

Regardless of where an original idea originates in an organization, catchball offers many individuals and departments the chance for input and starts a process of two-way feedback. This exchange of feedback about ideas and their development serves to anticipate issues and helps to further refine ideas. While the sharing of ideas, information and critique is common in business, catchball adds an informal but also more standardized structure to the process.

Catchball is most suitable as a process for complex projects when many departments are going to be involved. During lean strategy stages such as value stream mapping, standard work development and Hoshin planning, Catchball can help processes flow more smoothly. It also helps even out opportunities to speak and helps avoid interruptions. As a result, the approach can also increase employee engagement and productivity.


This was last updated in February 2018

Continue Reading About catchball

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.


Dateiendungen und Dateiformate

Gesponsert von:


  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

  • pure risk (absolute risk)

    Pure risk, also called absolute risk, is a category of threat that is beyond human control and has only one possible outcome if ...


  • federated identity management (FIM)

    Federated identity management (FIM) is an arrangement that can be made among multiple enterprises to let subscribers use the same...

  • cross-site scripting (XSS)

    Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of injection security attack in which an attacker injects data, such as a malicious script, ...

  • firewall

    In computing, a firewall is software or firmware that enforces a set of rules about what data packets will be allowed to enter or...



  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...


  • volume manager

    A volume manager is software within an operating system (OS) that controls capacity allocation for storage arrays.

  • external storage device

    An external storage device, also referred to as auxiliary storage and secondary storage, is a device that contains all the ...

  • NetApp SolidFire

    NetApp SolidFire is a business division of NetApp Inc. that specializes in all-flash storage systems.


  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.