Visual Management is one of the essential tools that we make use of at our work and home lives that you may not have even noticed. But once you understand what visual management exactly is all about, you’ll be seeing it everywhere!

Visual management is a tool that is used for lean management for making the work culture of that place better. A visual management technique makes use of effective visual displays to convey a certain message in an efficient and effective manner with minimum efforts. These visual displays can be are as follows:-

Data Displays like informative boards, performance white boards, safety calendars, MIS reports etc.

Guiding tools like floor marking tapes, stickers and area identification boards, signboards etc.

Shape cutouts for easy identification of the designated place of a tool,instrument or an equipment.

Flowcharts and layouts like work flow instructions, standard operating procedure (SOP), First In First Out (FIFO) layout etc.

Awareness posters like safety posters, Motivational posters, Posters for International quality management techniques, Business excellence posters etc.

Effects of  Visual management at a workplace

Visual management exhibits crystal clear transparency and eliminates the distance between the higher management and production floor level of workers. Information is not hidden at any given point, and the whole organization is united on the same success goals. This forms unity and team spirit among all the the employees.

Many lean management techniques and principles rely on visual management that includes floor marking tapes to the large visual display boards and performance boards, sign boards etc.  Visual management acts as the key sustaining force for many well-known lean techniques like  5S, standard work, total productive maintenance (TPM), Gemba walk and Kanban. It involves many visual indications that help to create a better work environment.

It suggests the use of different colors and labels to mark each item in the workplace differently. Labeling and marking gauges, oil levels and lube levels are all examples of visual controls that help the employees to easily detect abnormalities at a glance thereby promoting preventive maintenance and reducing the production down time.

Visual management is not just making data and metrics visible on a wall, it is a real-time visual display of the  data that allows the team to take immediate actions to solve issues or support the production process. It thus promotes constant monitoring of the data and taking immediate actions accordingly.

The safety visuals help to make people aware of the possible  hazards and situations within the work environment. It is very necessary to define the location of hazards as well as location of safe aids like first aid station, and location for personal protection equipment, Safety shower, eye wash station etc. Safety signs and safety instructions also plays an important role in accident prevention.

Benefits of visual management at a workplace

• Sharing all the Information with others to avoid any miscommunication

• Communicating the standards to attain uniformity throughout the processes.

• Implementing the standards to maintain smooth running of the processes.

• Bringing attention to irregularities in the processes for further action to be taken.

• Taking immediate actions against the irregularities when they happen to avoid such instances in future.

• Preventing such Irregularities from taking place for nonstop high quality output.

Fun facts about visual learners.

• 80% of people remember what they see or do rather than what the read or hear

• 65% of the world’s population are visual learners.

• 40% of human nerve fibers are linked to the retina.

• Humans are capable of getting the approximate understanding of a visual scene in less than 1/10th of a second.

• An average human eye can register up to 36,000 visual messages every hour.

• All the emotions and the visual information are processed in the same part of the human brain.

• Human brain processes visual information 60,000 times quicker than audio and written information.

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