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What is visual management?
Visual management is a corporate management method based on visual perception to help people better understand and remember information and, ultimately, improve company efficiency. The general idea is to show an overview of the company or a specific project at a given time.
How is visual management used?
As its name suggests, visual management, sometimes known as line of sight management, is the art of visually communicating information. This communication method has the primary aim of improving understanding as visual communication makes information more tangible and intelligible for everyone.
Visual management can take various forms. Generally, it uses tables of tasks, diagrams or dashboards, etc. to easily structure and highlight the information displayed.
Historically, visual management has been used mainly in the industrial sector, but is now increasingly prevalent in all kinds of sectors, including business organizations, educational teams, the health sector and public services. The information shared includes real-time company results, production management, deliveries in progress and machine throughput, showing relevant KPIs for a department or workshop.
What is the purpose of visual management?
Visual management offers information transparency that easily improves all internal processes within a project, team or company. It’s a way of facilitating work.
When visual management is designed correctly, all project stakeholders can access information and easily understand the indicators. Problems can therefore be identified quickly. Sharing information with everyone results in better decision-making and empowers teams.
Teams feel more involved and will more easily take the opportunity to solve a problem if they are the ones who identified it. This is participatory management. People can see every new action, step taken or step completed. This ensures that everyone’s efforts are celebrated, leading more generally to continuous improvement in teams.
In reality, creating a dashboard showing targets and real-time progress towards meeting them means that the slightest discrepancy can be identified very quickly and the necessary actions or corrective measures implemented.
Finally, key messages are shared quickly and cannot pass under the radar.
How to implement it ?
Like in any project, implementing visual management within a company or team first requires analyzing the activity to clarify needs. What do you want to show? Why? Who is this information for? Where will it be displayed? How will it be displayed?
Visual management will help you rethink how your teams operate. Consider involving some project stakeholders who will be directly impacted by these changes. In particular, you will need to ensure that the information communicated does not create information overload but are the indicators required for truly adjusting everyday actions, so as to provide real added value to this new organization.
What tools are required for better visual management?
Traditionally, tables are a key tool in visual management. They often use post-its to update information in real time and add a participatory component. This kind of table is often organized using the Kanban method, with tasks organized by “to do”, “in progress” or “completed”.
Depending on the project, you could also choose a kind of mind map display to easily show the links between the various project steps or between two different projects.
Regardless, it is now easy to exchange traditional whiteboards for digital screens. In an increasingly digital context, where companies need to see their data in real time, traditional visual management is becoming obsolete. Screens can be used to relay the same information to different locations. The content displayed on these screens can be managed using a digital signage solution. These digital signage systems can directly link to your data sources or monitoring documents (e.g. csv files) to show information updated in real time, without requiring any human intervention once you have used the administration console to configure your dashboard, graph or other item for display
This is digital visual management.
- Digital visual management is increasingly used in the industrial sector. Discover how digital signage can meet your needs for manufacturing.