To understand Visual Management better, we would like to offer you a little history lesson… At the source, a new mode of management inspired by Toyotism: Lean management. John Krafcik, an engineer previously in a Toyota sister company, was the first to discuss this production management method in 1988.
Lean: ‘I am the father of Visual Management.’
Lean management was originally a production method applied in the automobile industry. It was called lean manufacturing. The objective is simple: Develop ‘no waste’ management techniques to attain operational excellence. Three identifiable categories of waste: MUDA, MURI and MURA. MUDA is about things without value such as wasted journeys or movements, loss of time… MURI is about excess workload generated by poor organisation. And MURA is about irregularities such as machine failure which hold up a fluid workflow. These are the types of waste that lean Management aims to limit.
Information is one of the key tools in the combat against waste. Operators must be able to circulate freely within the factory and have easy access to useful information: Faults, machine breakdowns, incidents, diverse problems … thanks to visual and audible alarms. Visual management was born from this need for information.
A goal? Operational excellence
Thanks to Visual Management, operators reappropriate their daily management: This reinforces staff commitment. Productivity also improves considerably, as visual and audible alarms allow operators to be more reactive in their fight against wasted time and resources.
The installation of screens for operational management, otherwise known as Visual Management, represents a significant step towards digitalisation of factories and the development of Industry 4.0!
It transferred to back-office functions
Industry makes significant use of Visual Management; back-office functions have also felt the benefits of Lean. The operational requirements are the same. Whether in factories or in offices, teams have objectives. Teams therefore need tools to monitor operational indicators. Today, reporting is the most widespread tool. But the task of data collection and presentation can quickly become time-consuming. Displaying key performance indicators allows teams to focus on set objectives. And allowing staff to own their daily management encourages them to improve their practices. This favours innovation.
A well-designed interface, which displays objectives, may have benefits beyond productivity. Visual management must consider ergonomics Information must be presented ‘aesthetically’ to encourage people to read it. Involving staff in design encourages their creativity and team spirit. They will create together a tool which will be useful for everyone involved.
And by creating comfortable seating areas around the screen, people have a convivial space in which to discuss their observations and ideas.
You thus create a space for exchange and innovation. These spaces around comfortable, less formal work areas will transform your offices into a convivial, digital workplace. The morale and job satisfaction of staff will improve considerably.