3 Ways Lean Visual Management Can Make a Big Difference in Your Workplace

A major element of achieving end-to-end supply chain visibility is creating visual management in all workplaces.  Time and time again, we've seen that the better the visual management in a workplace, the better people are at solving problems. At the heart of visual management is the essence of connecting people to process and bridging process to process.

Here are three ways lean visual management can make a big difference in your workplace.

1. A visual workplace motivates employees into action.

People like to know the "score of the game" so to speak. We recognize this in recreation and team sports, but we seem to forget about it in the workplace. Visual management engages people by bringing the operation to life -- conveying facts that prompt action.

Team members can see as a group, know as a group, and act as a group. 


2. A visual workplace is self-explaining and self-improving.

The ultimate goal is to create a self-explaining workplace where problems and urgency are visual.  Supervisors who spend a lot of time firefighting tend to have very few visual cues to warn them that the problem is coming. With one look at any visual tool, a team member should be able to tell what's going on:

  • A hammer is missing from the work cart.
  • Four new mortgage applications have come in today.
  • Tomorrow is a compressed work schedule.
  • Cell 5 needs some help.
  • We have one box of tubing left.

3. A visual workplace enforces "go and see."

"Go and see" is a key principle of your job because in order to truly understand a situation, you need to go to the real place where the work is being done in order to:

  • Experience where value is being added
  • Deeply understand what the customer wants and provide that value
  • Engage with other employees in improving the process and eliminating waste

This means talking directly to customers, suppliers, and team members to receive objective feedback.

Lean leaders need to act immediately in response to problems they identify through lean visual management, and make following up on them part of standard, everyday work. When team members see this, it increases their respect for the leader while reinforcing the value of their work.

People_Book_Cover_Shingo_2013.jpgFor more tips on how to create lean visual management, check out PEOPLE: a leader's day-to-day guide to building, managing, and sustaining lean organizations.

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To see lean visual management in action, contact us to tour the LeanCor Headquarters and Logistics Operations Center.


Posted by LeanCor Consulting

blog author

LeanCor Consulting is a division of LeanCor Supply Chain Group. Today’s complex supply chains require vision, strategies, and innovative techniques to create competitive performance. LeanCor Consulting is a trusted partner for advancing end to end supply chain performance through diagnostics, assessments, and full implementation. Global organizations leverage LeanCor Consulting to develop vision and strategy deployment plans for improvement in all supply chain functions. We focus on elements of speed, cost, quality, and delivery, and are able to develop innovative solutions from operational experience as a third party logistics partner.

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