2 More Visual Management Examples

Acadia National Park

Some of you may recall that my wife and I had a great time in Maine over the summer.  It was fun to go to such a beautiful area.  It was also fun to share a humorous experience from that trip in What’s Wrong with This Picture?

We were making our way to enjoy a lobster roll when we encountered a temporary stop light.  This stop light was only there because of some road construction that was underway.  The light didn’t catch my attention as much as the signage (aka visual management) used to bring out attention to the light.

Do Not Run Red?

Stop Here On Red

That seems like a good way to clarify the expectation of what to do when the light is red.  Signs like these are fairly common at least in the United States.

Do Not Run Red Light

Really?  Is any form of visual management more established than a red light?  How many drivers think that it is OK to run red lights and need this explanation?

Maybe these authorities felt the need to warm drivers that this red light is a valid traffic signal even though it was temporary in nature.  I will also grant that there are some situations, especially with safety, where repeating warning make sense.


I was traveling on business out west more recently.  There was another example of visual management that also struck me.


Again, this makes sense.


Isn’t that what Rail Road Crossing means?  And again this seems to be redundant.

As noted earlier, maybe this is a good way to underscore an important safety consideration.

While I got a good laugh with both, I don’t have a big problem with either set of signs.  My point for Lean Leaders is that too many signs can distract people from the critical message.  People tend to stop reading signs when there are too many of them.  Visual management is an important role in communicating expectations and sustaining improvements.  Don’t water down your visual management and don’t distract your team with unneeded messages.

Can you think of good examples of visual management at work or in the real world?  Can you think of important messages that were watered down with other less important information?  Please share your thoughts below.


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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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2 Responses to 2 More Visual Management Examples

  1. There is a necessity to all the signage simply because people move way to fast and don’t notice implied instructions.

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