Tactile Management

Everyone is familiar with visual management.  A concept lean utilizes to quickly show if the condition is normal or abnormal.  Recently, I had a situation where visual management wouldn’t work and I had to use tactile management.  I used the feel of something to no if that was the correct object or not.

I go through spells where I get horrible headaches in the middle of the night.  When I get them, it happens for several nights in a condensed time and then won’t happen for months.  I have to sit up and close my eyes without my head leaning against anything because it would cause it to hurt so badly.

I hate turning on the lights in the middle of the night.  I don’t want to wake others.  Plus, it makes my headache worse when I flip on the lights and my eyes have to adjust rapidly to the flood of light.

I would search the medicine drawer in the dark looking for the right headache medicine.  It would take forever and most of the time I would end up turning on the lights.

20150203_170521[1]Finally, a solution for searching for the medicine came to me.  I taped a cotton paid to the outside of the bottle so I can quickly find the medicine without turning on the lights.  Sometimes the simplest things can have the biggest impact.

Visual management wouldn’t work in the dark, but tactile management would.  It is something the blind deal with everyday.  They use feel to read braille.

Are there ways you could use tactile management?

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Posted on February 23, 2015, in Lean at Home, Visual Management and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hi Matt

    Sorry to hear about the headaches.

    As to tactile management, I doubt managers use their other senses much to control work, but a lot of workers will use touch instead of looking to get parts and tools. Over time with stable work practices and layouts people know were anything is without ever directly looking for it. Good workers use touch over vision often for getting tools and parts. Often in highly repetitive jobs, you gain the maximum level of performance only when people start using touch over vision. Additionally when they get to this level they also spot more issues and are able to prevent defects from being passed on. During high school my friends and I all had jobs that were highly repetitive, you only got really good at these jobs when you could let your hands do it without looking.

    There are in fact a great many jobs in which touch or other senses play as greate or even a greater role than sight does.

  1. Pingback: Tactile Management | Lean Six Sigma Leadership ...

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