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?
The other day my son came up with a great improvement at home. It saves only a few seconds but it is in the true spirit of continuous improvement and kaizen.
A few weeks ago, I bought a DVD player with WiFi and the internet apps to watch through Amazon, Netflix, MLB.TV, etc… I set it up so it is plugged into Input 2. Our cable is plugged into Input 1.
Over the first few weeks of using the new DVD player we have found that if when you turn on the DVD player it automatically switches the TV to Input 2 without hitting any other buttons.
My TV has a total of 8 inputs.
That led my son to ask if we could switch the cable and the DVD inputs. When I asked why? This was the response he gave me, “Because it makes the easier. When I turn on the DVD player it switches to Input 2 automatically but when I turn it off I have to hit the input button seven times to get the TV back to Input 1. If we switch them then I only have to hit the button once to get to the TV when I am done with the DVD player.”
HOLY SMOKES! That is simple and easy to change. It is the true spirit of kaizen. Keep make small improvements and they will add up. Yes. This was for watching TV, but it is such a great example.
How are you making small changes to improve?
I received this picture from a guy I worked with and coached for a couple of years. I am sharing this with his permission
(click on image to enlarge)
He and his wife would go to the store and if there was a sale, they would buy meat. They never knew what they had at home. When they got home from a recent trip they had bought meat they had plenty of…again. So my friend decided to get visual. He sorted out the meat that had gone bad and then created this visual board to better understand when he needed to buy a particular type of meat. He likes to barbeque so he keeps a variety of meat on hand.
The board is simple. Conveys one type of information. And anyone can understand it by looking at it.
What visual management have you used at home?