Visual Workplace

 

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Visual Workplace

Hey there sports fans!  Imagine watching the big game without a score board.  Maybe you can mentally keep track of the score, but how much time is left in the game?  What quarter is it? 

Or, how about taking a road trip with no GPS, no road signs and no speedometer or odometer in your dashboard.

Visual displays guide us through life

Are you feeling a little in the dark?  That’s because visual displays literally guide us through life.  Sometimes our life depends on visual signals, for example, at active railroad crossings or with heart monitors in the operating room. 

At other times visual cues to provide information that makes navigating through complex systems more easy such as getting to the right gate at an airport or working through your tax returns using a computer program.

How can visual displays help at work?

But, what about at work?  How can visual information make work easier, more effective and more productive?

Visual Workplace techniques use visual forms of information to trigger action and communicate progress and status.  These visual cues can be in the form of:

  • Visual Controls – Controls represent visual techniques that help to do something right or trigger a stop to the process is it is going wrong.
  • Visual Prompts – Prompts are visible alerts or cues about a problem or pending problem.
  • Visual Displays – Displays provide on-going feedback on work status and performance.

 


 

 

VISUAL CONTROLS

A clear visual of how the credit card should be inserted saves time and hassles at the ATM.


VISUAL PROMPTS

Check oil and service engine lights help us keep our cars running.

 


 

VISUAL DISPLAYS

We have come to rely on visual displays computer screens.

 

Too MUCH is as Bad as Not Enough!

Chances are there already is LOTS of Visual Information in your workplace.  If some of these displays are ineffective then remove them.  Our brains only have so much capacity to take in info so we want to make sure we are feeding it the most valuable and relevant data at all times.

More information on display isn't necessarily better. Visual information that isn't immediately relevant quickly goes stale and gets ignored and may even distract us from the truly vital information.  

Five things to take back to the shop:

  1. Reserve visual displays for the most important information; information that people can and should take immediate action with.
  2. Install visual displays in easy to see places and in the area where the information is relevant and meaningful.
  3. Make sure the information is clean and easy to read.  Think about the scoreboard at a football game.  There's LOTS of information that COULD be displayed, but scoreboards are usually reserved for the most important information.  They give a high level view of the game.
  4. A picture is worth a thousand words.  Think of how much more effective infographics are when communicating information than the same information presented in paragraph form.
  5. Integrate the visual workplace with other improvement efforts such as Mistake-Proofing and the 5S's. 

 

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