Implementing Visual Management to complement Operational Excellence



Every organisation strives to be best in improving productivity, Quality, Cost, Delivery, Morale and Safety  (PQCDMS) at work place.  Work place is also called as Gemba or the spot of action.  Gembutsu is the actual thing – product.

For effective management of Key Performance indicators such as Ontime in Full Delivery (OTIF), Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ), Manufacturing Lead time, safety  – near misses etc.,  having real time information at the point of use is very essential.  At Gemba, there will be many situations arise on daily basis which can be termed as process is fully under control or out of control.  For this, the real thing in the form of expected product quality – samples, trends of various variables are to be tracked in real time for the person responsible to respond well in time.  In other words, proactive information or potential problems should be made visible in the Gemba.

If the abnormality or trend is not comprehensible and not in time, no one can even attempt to grasp the situation to respond.  The key principle of Visual Management is to spot abnormalities – potential or actual well in time.Visual management works well with supporting tools and techniques such as Jidoka which is one of the key pillar in Toyota Production System.

One of the pre-requisite for Effective visual management is to implement 5S. Seven Steps Business Transformation system has proven model for deployment of 5S through their flagship programme – Applied 5S which makes implementation of 5S not only easy and effective. It is linked to various business goals such as improved Ontime performance, improved Quality, improved health and safety of employees and reduced cost.

Some of the key elements of Visual Management are:

  • Daily Performance Health Indicators

  • Hourly plan vs actual

  • Plan Do check Act boards

  • Daily priority jobs

  • Safety incidents

  • Pareto analysis

  • Project status timelines plan vs actual

Where visual management is practiced,  the visual displays and updates are usually management by the people belonging to the respective function.

Visual Management will be very effective where Gemba Walk is practiced consistently by leadership team.  When the Leaders walk through the shop-floor, they can see the problems or good condition at a glance. Where things are good, spot appreciation is given by the leaders to the to team members.  Visual management is practiced method for determining when everything is under control or out of control in real time instead of sending the data to board room for monthly or quarterly meetings.  By the time the data is analysed, the problem may not even exist or it could have resulted in serious loss due to rejections, excess inventory etc.,

Visual Management should include 5Ms such as Manpower, Machines, Method, Material and Measurements.

Seven Steps Business transformation helps in deployment of continuous improvement culture in organisations through their flagship training programmes conducted through Seven Steps Academy of Excellence.


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