Visual Management

In the organizational world Visual Management is a management system that attempts to improve organizational performance through connecting and aligning organizational vision, core values, goals and culture with other management systems, work processes, workplace elements, and stakeholders, by means of stimuli, which directly address one or more of the five human senses (sight, hearing, feeling, smell and taste). These stimuli communicate quality information (necessary, relevant, correct, immediate, easy to-understand and stimulating), which helps people make sense of the organizational context at a glance by merely looking around. It is a management approach that utilizes either one or more of information giving, signaling, limiting or guaranteeing (mistake-proofing/ poka-yoke) visual devices to communicate with “doers”, so that places become self-explanatory, self-ordering, self-regulating and self-improving.

FunctionDefinitionReplaces the Practice of
TransparencyThe ability of a process (or its parts) to communicate with people through organizational and physical means, measurements, and public display of information

Transparency stimulates people to move outside the confines of particular job responsibilities and to see the larger scale of their work
Information held in people‟s minds and on the shelves.
DisciplineMaking a habit of properly maintaining correct procedures by transforming the abstract concept of discipline into directly observable concrete practices

Address the six basic questions (the what, the where, the who, the how, the how many and the when)
Warning, scolding, inflicting punishments, dismissing etc.
Continuous ImprovementFocused and sustained incremental innovation

Makes organizational learning visual with high ability to respond to people’s ideas
Static organizations or big improvement leaps through considerable investment.
Job FacilitationConscious attempt to physically and/or mentally ease people’s efforts on routine, already known tasks, by offering various visual aidsExpecting people to perform well at their jobs without providing them any aids.
On-the-Job TrainingLearning from experience or integrating working with learning.Conventional training practices or offering no training.
Creating Shared OwnershipA feeling of possessiveness and being psychologically tied to the objectivesManagement dictation for change efforts, vision and culture creation.
Management by FactsUse of facts and data based on statisticsManagement by subjective judgement or vague terms.
SimplificationConstant efforts on monitoring, processing, visualizing and distributing system wide information for individuals and teamsExpecting people to monitor, process and understand the complex system wide information on their own.
UnificationPartly removing the boundaries and creating empathy within an organization through effective information sharingFragmentation or “this is not my job” behavior
The functions of Visual Management