What is Visual Management?
It is the use of visual aids (displays, metrics and controls) to make operational standards visible. This enhances understanding of information being communicated to the staff thus making it easy for them to follow instructions, meet organizational objectives and contribute to organizational success.
Types of Visual Management:
- Visual Displays
These are labels such as floor safety markings which help identify where products and equipment belong in the workplace. Another type of visual display is standard operating procedures placed on work stations to guide personnel working in that area.
- Visual Metrics
These are visual standards of measurement such as graphs and charts that facilitate communication and identification of areas that need improvement in the workplace
- Visual Controls
There are 3 major types of visual controls, Gauges which give information, Indicators which show the status of a process or machine and Guides which instruct us what to do. This makes it easier to identify out of standard situations from a distance.
Why Visual Management?
In order for your operations to be efficient your staff needs to understand the key goals and targets at all times. That is why visual management is important. It communicates information quickly, clearly and in real time. This ensures staff gets the information they need when they need it, allowing them to meet their goals in a timely manner, leading to organizational success.
Visual management also builds participation through shared information thus fostering a culture of oneness and learning in the organization. One of the main advantages of visual management is that it is part of the flow of the process thus improving employee engagement as employees have to deal with abnormalities in real time to keep the process going. It is important to note that not all visual management tools are the same, the best ones are the one that not only reflect problems but also instruct employees what to do next thus reducing down time.
The most important benefit of visual management in the workplace is that it shows things that need attention in real time which reduces delays in the process thus maintaining efficiency.