Lean Visual Management
Lean systems using visual controls for lean visual management
Lean visual controls
What is important about visual controls to you, the leader at any level, is that you understand the reason for having them. By insisting through your standard work that the visuals are maintained and current, visuals constantly reinforce the focus on process. This focus makes it easier to see the contrast between expected and actual process performance. By doing this, visuals allow you to identify opportunities for improvement.
~ David Mann - Creating a Lean Culture
Lean Visual Management Systems
Whenever you add a new element to your lean production system,
you should also quickly add supporting lean management elements.
We suggest that you start with visual controls -
which will then quickly require the other 2 elements of a lean management system:
routine accountability habits, and Leader Standard Work.
The term "lean visual controls" can broadly include any intuitively-easy-to-understand system for monitoring and controlling a process - with examples ranging from kanbans to painted golf balls - but most common is the visual control chart.
A visual control chart is...
any printed or hand-written chart that:
- is used for monitoring or controlling any aspect of production
- is posted in plain site very near the place where the actual work is done
- is frequently updated with the latest results
(timely enough to effectively respond to problems - not just historical post mortems)
- graphically highlights problems
- has notes clearly articulating the reasons for "misses" (differences between expected vs. actual results)
- can be understood by a newcomer standing 10 feet away
Data inside a computer is not visual (until it is printed)
A visual management system must be visual. Data hidden inside a computer does not meet the above criteria -
until is is perhaps printed - or otherwise reproduced in a way that meets the above criteria.
Balance between Computer and Hand Written Visual Control Charts
Hand entered data is better for:
Computer generated charts and forms are better for:
Most lean visual management systems include a diverse assortment of visual controls, each with its own balance of hand-written and computer-generated elements.
|Common examples of lean visual controls charts|
|For assessment of each team's overall progress on their lean journey||Lean Assessment|
|For workplace organization and cleanliness - (to reveal problems)||5S Scorecard|
|To keep every team working in alignment with strategic objectives||Hoshin Strategic Planning Policy Deployment|
|Visual Task Assignment Board||Team To Do List -
published on your Team Accountability Board
|To measure expected vs. actual results for ANY measure of team performance||Results Metrics|
|To publish the results of audits of team performance||
Various Audit forms (Kaizen, Standard Work, TPM, 5S...)
|For a flow operation designed to run at takt time||
Daily Production Pitch Board
and Monthly Pitch Log
|Or to level the flow of both demand volume and mix variety||
and Job-by-Job Tracking chart of expected to actual setup and run times
|Pull system kanban order replenishment||
Expected vs. actual replenishment cycle time
Priority Board Hourly Status chart
|Water spider material supply route||Exected vs. actual route cycle time|
|TPM Total Preventative Maintenance
Chart with worker's initials & actual time that they completed each scheduled maintenance activity.
(Like you see taped to the wall in airport restrooms)
|OEE Overall Equipment Effectiveness||
OEE bar charts and waterfall charts
Create your own visual control charts for any activity of any kind -
using everything you know and
|Find a visual way to compare expected vs. actual results -
with data updated frequently enough for timely response -
with problems highlighted using graphics or colors -
and notes explaining the reasons for every miss.
When measures are too green
If any measure is green more than 80% of the time, then consider lowering the water
Lower the inventory, shorten the time, reduce setup times, cross train people...
The only way to solve a problem is to first expose it.
Bookmark = TeamBoard
Team Accountability Board
This Team Accountability Board displays the team's most important visual information, and also serves as the agenda and meeting location for the team's stand up meetings.
The format and contents of each team's bulletin board can vary greatly. Common elements often include:
- Printed charts summarizing the most important Key Performance Indicators.
(Charts must be kept current - often printed daily, or even more often for particularly time-critical data)
- Sticky note based tracking systems - for Task Assignments and/or Suggestions.
Balance between Computer and Sticky Note Tracking Systems
We at Systems2win are more computer oriented than most, but we really like the sticky note based Accountability Board tracking systems for both Task Assignments and Suggestions as described in Chapter 5 of David Mann's book, Creating a Lean Culture.
We like them for their simplicity, accessibility, visuality, and the "fingerprint" factor of keeping the task or suggestion in the person's own words and hand writing.
Having said that, however, we also believe that our Team To Do List and Excel Gantt Chart and Value Stream Plan templates can be a powerful supplement - by providing a cleaner way for the Team Leader to:
Do something about the problems you find
A primary purpose of any lean visual management system is to reveal problems.
The assumption is that you will actually do something about the problems that get revealed.
- Perhaps your team might maintain a Pareto Chart of the top 3 priority problems you are currently working on - and publish it on your Team Accountability Board.
- Perhaps a team member might volunteer to lead an A3 problem solving exercise.
- Perhaps a problem might prove worthy of a kaizen event.
- Perhaps a problem might need to be escalated to a higher tier of your lean management structure.
- Perhaps a problem might affect and be of interest to the larger value stream.
If your lean leaders don't actually solve problems as they surface - then people will quickly lose interest, and wonder why they're doing all this extra paperwork to identify even more problems that management ignores.
The relationship between visual controls and standard work
The primary purpose of visual controls is to quickly and visibly reveal process abnormalities.
Any abnormality should prompt the following 3 questions:
Bookmark = Reading
Suggested Reading and Resources
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Visual management tools are part of the Kaizen Lean Leadership bundle of templates,
which also includes lean management templates, kaizen tools, project management tools, software project tools, load leveling templates, strategic planning tools,