Highlight Problem Areas For Data Input

Visual management is one of my favorite concepts.  I never cease to be amazed at discussions, ah-ha moments, and alignment that happens from making things more visual.

A group I worked with is responsible for entering  data into the master system.  This data has to be right for the planning, allocating, and production of the product to happen smoothly.  The area was responsible for about one-third of the total errors that were occurring.  In true Pareto fashion, there was one error that accounted for 85% of their errors.

A team of employees that enter the data was formed to find out how to reduce the errors.  The employees get their data from a hard copy of a sheet shown below. (I do have to black out some information on the pictures.  Sorry about that.)

As you can see there can be a lot of data and a lot of distractions for the eyes.  It can be very easy to enter the wrong data by pulling it off the wrong part of the sheet.

So how did they go about it?  The employees came up with a template.

The template takes away all the eye distractions and allows the employee to focus in on the areas containing the data.

When the template is laid over the form, the data is much easier to find.  The arrows and instructions help keep it visual.

The errors have dropped significantly since the templates have been used.  It is a great example of an employee generated idea showing creativity over capital.


Posted on June 8, 2011, in Engagment, Error Proofing, Problem Solving, Tools and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Matt,

    This is a great example. Teams are often able to come up with surprisingly simple yet very effective countermeasures when given the opportunity. Great job.


  2. Thanks for sharing. Great example. When I used to make excel files that would auto calculate values. i took a similar approach with color coding cells and looking out those you couldn’t edit. I have a use for this that would be great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: