Improving Your Workplace with Visual Management
Time. No matter what, it seems like there’s never enough, right? One way to save time is to make your workplace more visual, infusing it with information that answers the critical and recurrent questions of people working there. With a glance people can get the information they need without having to waste time searching for it.
Visual Management systems “enable anyone to immediately assess the current status of an operation or process at a glance, regardless of their knowledge of the process. Visual displays relate information and data to employees in an area through the use of charts, graphs, and process documentation.” (Continuous Improvement Glossary)
In the article “Visual Management,” authors Phuong Nguyen, and Jim Mullen, Nosco, Inc., give the 15,000-ft view of how to immediately spot areas to improve and apply this system to an operation.
Examples from the pressroom
You notice that the preproduction team was overproducing for some presses and underproducing for others. Now staging orders for the presses has become disorganized, causing frustration across departments. What do you do?
- Call a cross-functional team meeting to decide how to improve the staging order of the presses.
- Have them create makeready carts with a preflight checklist to visually communicate when a cart is ready.
- Tape off and label areas around each press for completed staged carts to reside until your press operator needs them.
- Reduced downtime—everyone knows when staged orders are ready.
- A visual management method for the process of staging orders.
- A sustained process—front-line leads and managers use a Kamishibai audit board (uses
a red/green card system along with standardized questions to ask various team members how the process is working. Red means the audit was not done. If the card is green, this means the audit was completed. Any corrective actions are written on the green side.)