Category Archives: Visual 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.
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?
I have been working with one group on how to make there work more visual. Show production goals versus actual production. Make safety standards clear. Highlight any problems to help them improve.
The supervisor of the area was on person leave when I was helping the area. Upon her return, she liked what we had done. In fact, she liked the idea so much that she made a visual board for another area where she is the supervisor.
What was the problem she was trying to solve? Employees were always asking what their goal for the day was. Employees would leave their work station and abandon their work to find the supervisor just to ask what the goal was. The supervisor posted this board in the work area.
This reminds of Gwendolyn Galsworth’s book Visual Workplace Visual Thinking. One of the questions of the visual workplace is “What do I need to share?”. Goals and standards were something this supervisor needed to share with her team.
The board is simple and effective.
What have you made visual? What do you need to share?