This course was created by Gemba Academy, a leading provider of lean and Six Sigma training. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.
Skill Level Beginner
(upbeat music) - Hi, there, my name is Ron Pereira, and I'd like to welcome you to the overview module for this course focused on visual management. By the end of this module, you'll understand what visual management is and why it's such an important aspect of the broader lean management system. And you'll also learn some key questions we should all consider as we work to implement visual management into our workplaces. Okay, well to start this module off, I'll have to begin with what we refer to as the first principles of lean. You see, when it's all said and done, lean can be boiled down to a few key principles. Specifically, lean is all about continuous improvement and respect for people. But in order to effectively practice these two principles, we must first have standards in place. In other words, we must all agree how the work should be done and how we intend to work with one another. Now once standards are in place we'll be in position to improve them when a better way is found. This is especially true when gaps or problems are identified. Now with this said let's dig a little deeper into visual management by exploring what it is and why it's such an important aspect of the continuous improvement process. First, visual management provides information. As an example, the next time you walk into a grocery store I'd encourage you to take note of how visual management is being leveraged. Looking for shampoo? There's an aisle clearly marked for that. And most airports also practice visual management to help us find our way from gate to gate and then eventually out of the airport. Similarly, many lean thinking organizations also rely on visual management to provide information. Things like signage and color-coded tape and paint are used for many things, including making it clear where it's safe to walk and where tools and supplies are located. Next, we lean thinkers must become effective problem solvers which, as we touched on earlier, begins with problem detection. And as it turns out, an effective visual management system helps us to identify problems and abnormalities. Now these problems, or gaps, can be many things. For example, visual management can help us monitor our production goals with hour-by-hour boards, which enable us to proactively manage the production process. Visual management can also alert us as to whether nurses have the supplies they need when they need them. And of course visual management helps us do our jobs by ensuring the tools we need are where they're supposed to be while also keeping us safe by making it clear when equipment and supplies aren't where they're supposed to be. Finally, visual management helps us to manage with our eyes. Since done correctly, it helps us see at a glance how we're doing without having to read the reports or listen to long presentations. Put another way, visual management can help us keep score much like the giant scoreboards do as most sporting events. As it turns out our friends over at Menlo Innovation practice managing with their eyes with their open-book finance board. Now this board is used to show how the company is performing from a profit and loss perspective, allowing anyone, including people from outside of the company, to see how things are going from a financial perspective. So that's an overview of what visual management is. Now I'd like to introduce seven questions we should all consider as we work to bring visuality to our workplaces. And these questions find their root in a concept we've explored in other Gemba Academy courses called 5W1H, which stands for who, what, where, when, why, and how. Now depending on the situation, we may also need to add quantity or how many to the list making it 5W2H. Let's step through these one at a time starting with what we believe to be the most important question of the list. Why. You see, we must understand why the visual control is needed and what problem it's solving. This is especially important when first beginning to implement visual management, since the excitement and buzz around the initiative can sometimes lead to people getting a little carried away with things like the label maker and tape. To be sure if you're not worried about your phone moving away from your desk, you probably don't need to place tape around it like we see here. Second, we need to understand where things belong and where things are located. Leveraging things like signage, shadow boards, and Kaizen foam are excellent visual tools to make this happen. Third, we often need to understand what's needed to do the work. This is where things like work procedures can be helpful as well as nicely laid out work cells like we see here. The fourth question addresses when things should be done. One of the most powerful visual tools available is the Kanban. Now this may be a Kanban card inside of a factory or an empty tray signaling work should begin in an office. The fifth visual management question helps us understand who is supposed to do the work. Our friends at FastCap post a picture of the person responsible for cleaning the bathrooms on this work procedure. There's no guessing or wondering who's supposed to do the work on that particular day. The sixth question addresses how many. Again, Kandan in either an office or factory environment can help here since the Kanban not only signals when to start the work, it also tells us how many to produce. And last but certainly not least, the seventh visual management question addresses how the work should be done. Things like standard work and work procedures can be very helpful here, as in things like the job instruction aspect of training within industries or TWI. Now it should be noted that not all seven visual management questions will apply to every situation. For example, when working with inventory, it may not always be necessary to identify who does the work since it could be many different people. So while it's important to consider all seven of these questions, please don't force them into situations they don't add value to. Okay, well let's wrap this module up with a quick overview of what we've learned so far. We first discussed how visual management supports the broader lean management system by making it easier to understand standards while also making it easy to identify gaps and problems. We then learned the seven questions we should consider as we work to implement visual management. Namely why, where, what, when, who, how, and how many. Again, not all of these questions will apply to every situation, but we do encourage you to at least consider them as you create your own visual workplace. Now then throughout the rest of this course we're going to share real world examples of visual management in action from many different organizations across several different industries, including manufacturing, office environments, software development, and healthcare. And we'll also share some specific steps you and your organization can take as you work to implement visual management into your workplaces. Finally, as you'll quickly notice from the many examples we're about to share, there are a number of different ways to go about visual management. So please don't feel as if you need to mimic exactly what you see. Then again, if you happen to notice something that's immediately applicable and would add value to your organization, feel free to copy the idea as fast as possible. Okay, in our next module we're going to continue the journey with a discussion on how to start your own visual management initiative, including how to properly scope your efforts. So we'll speak to you soon.