“Is your visual management really ‘management’, or is it just a billboard?” That’s a question I commonly ask managers after a huddle in which all targets are missed because, as I’m told, ‘everyone’s out on vacation’. Funny thing is, most huddle boards have some kind of attendance or absentee calendar that’s posted for everyone to see. As the manager is explaining how the ‘attendance’ (or lack there of) has been made visible, that’s when I ask my question. Because the point of visual management isn’t just to make things ‘visible’ it’s to use what we’ve made visible to ‘manage’! Manage the process and manage our people so that the work our customers need and are expecting (their work, as yesterday’s Fresh Start explored) gets done in the most effective and efficient way. Just because something is posted for all to see doesn’t mean it’s visual management. Unless there’s some ‘managing’ going on, it’s simply a billboard.


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