This is the fourth in a series of blogs which get back to the basics of Lean. The purpose of these blogs is to get back to the basic principles of Lean and stop contorting Lean into something it was never meant to be.
What do I mean by Lean?
It’s the engagement of all people in driving continuous improvement through the elimination of waste to improve Customer Value. The result is the world’s most powerful business system.
In the first three blogs I’ve talked about Customer Value, Employee Engagement and Visual Order. Today, I’d like to talk about Visual Management. Why are this and Visual Order some of the first basics I’ve discussed? They are the very foundation on which almost everything else builds.
What is Visual Management?
It’s the ability, at a glance, to see and understand the current condition. We often talk about the Visual Management triangle.
The key learning is that Visual Management drives action. Good Lean organizations have simple visuals for all important things. Therefore it’s easy to see problems and quickly take action when they occur.
My friend and colleague, Pascal Dennis, recently wrote a couple of excellent blogs on the Four Levels of Visual Management, which I’ve linked to here. (Part 1) (Part 2)
I encourage you to read them, even if it’s for a second time, and think about what type of action each of these four levels drives. Then do a survey of your own workplace and reflect upon which of these four levels of Visual Management do you see.