The Visual Office – 5 Questions that need a yes answer

Answer 5 Questions for Great Office Visual Management

Published on October 11, 2017

Visual management is key to achieving Operational Excellence, which is defined as

“When each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down.”

To be meaningful and sustaining, visuals in the office should be part of the flow rather than just a picture of the flow. And whether physical or digital, employees should have to physically interact with it in order for work to flow successfully. But what else makes a truly great visual?

The 5 Questions That Need a “Yes” Answer

Visual management should answer these five questions for flow with a single, binary response:

  1. Does the tool tell employees what to work on next?
  2. Does the visual tell employees where to get their work from?
  3. Does the visual management tell employees how long work should take?
  4. Does the tool tell employees where to send their work when done?
  5. Does the visual tell employees when to send their work (and whether flow is still normal when they send it)?

Affirmative answers to these questions mean visuals have been designed that will allow work to flow between processes without chasing information, seeking out supervisors or holding status meetings. When a visual can answer these five questions, and management no longer has to tell employees what to do, a non-value added task has been removed from the managers.

Moreover, when employees can simply look at the visuals and tell if flow is normal, they will also be able to determine if abnormal conditions have occurred and what to do to correct them – creating a self-healing value stream, a key concept in Operational Excellence.

Contact Rhys at BPA for help or further conversation in any of these areas.


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