Taking Visual Management Another Step

Some of you remember this photo of that was posted on Lean Leadership some time ago (see here).


It’s good for a laugh but it also illustrates visual management that is clear and concise.  Gerhared Kessler often leaves insightful comments and had some helpful suggestions on this post.  Gerhard suggested that this set-up is a little harsh since there is no tolerance with the suggested speed.  The driver is either in the red by exceeding 65 mph or in the green.  To Gerhard’s point, visual management is usually best with a green-yellow-red system rather than either green or red.  In this case green might be anything below let’s say 60 mph, yellow 60-65, and red anything above 65…..

Gerhard had some other helpful suggestions:

“The visual signal should be combined with an acoustic one.  Generally it should be hooked up with the GPS as these signals (at least in Europe ) give you the allowed speed. From a medical standpoint, it is a double effect when the lateral and ventral tract to the brain are active ( read and listen !) . Same with machines in production – out of standard should be visualized and give a tone as double signals……….”

Gerhard, thanks for your comments!

So maybe this is a little closer to what is needed:

GTO Dash

While this dash, like those in many cars, does not have a yellow zone, there is a red zone on all of the gauges but the speedometer.  While the good people at General Motors didn’t red line speed, they provide an alarm that is both visual and audible if you are going too fast (you can set the alarm set point).  There is also a visual and audible alarm when you get down to the last 25 miles worth of gas.

Now that we have had a little fun with cars, how can you apply visual management at your work site or home?


Please leave a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article.  You can check out my Facebook page and continue the discussion there as well.  Your feedback is appreciated.

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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