In this post on Visual Management, we’ll discuss the principle of Making Things Obvious.
I don’t remember who said it or how it goes, but that saying goes something like this:
Don’t Assume anything, because it makes an A** of you and me
The quote, of course, plays with the spelling of the word A-S-S-U-M-E. While cute, the message rings very true and reinforces a good business practice embodied in Visual Management – Make Things Obvious.
Within one glance, the human knows which tool is missing, what is contained in each of the drawers, and how to perform the operation at this station (notice the visual work instruction at the top left of the picture). The image above is common manifestation of Visual Management called a Shadow Board.
Make it Obvious
It is not an insult to anybody’s intelligence to make things obvious. In fact, it is a statement that reinforces the following values:
- Your time is important
- We trust you
- You are empowered to do the right thing
Again, there’s a reason why preschool and kindergarten operates so well – despite the natural over-energy and hyper-curiosity little children have, preschool teachers are still able to manage the kids well. A key element in effective management is Visual Management. Adults are no different – our business would operate much more smoother and more humane if we had simple visual management laying around, actually used visual management, and made decisions daily from visual management.