Visual management is a huge part of Lean Manufacturing and the Toyota Production System. It is one of the simplest tools and often overlooked, due to it’s simplicity. As the name implies Visual Management is the ability to manage everything in your factory (and support areas) visually. Visual management is the concept of making a workplace more effective by making the current condition of a workplace obvious at a glance.
Most businesses should focus on People, Quality, Schedule and Cost. Given that those things are important to most of us we would expect to see high-level indications of the plant’s position on them. Visual management aims to make the situation easily understood merely by looking at it. The goal is to get as much information as possible with as little observation or time as possible. For example, if we are talking about schedule, the visual management boards will tell us where that area is against its goal for the month or campaign. Use value stream mapping to truly understand where your bottlenecks are. Engage all of your employees in continuous improvement to relieve those bottlenecks. Develop focused key performance indicators that help measure the results and use visual management boards to communicate and align your organization.
Book: Disciplined Agile Delivery by Scott W. Ambler and Mark Lines