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Visual management uses a variety of visual information to make the workplace more friendly, understandable and easier to engage with. By using signs, labels, color codes and other visual cues, you can help envision the work carried out by your team as well as the processes needed for success. Visual management can be useful in industries as varied as manufacturing and software development to improve understanding, productivity and control workflow. There are a number of ways in which visual management techniques can be used to enhance a company’s workflow.
For example, visual management can improve organization, leading to greater understanding of all the moving parts at play, which cuts down on wasted time. When you create visual frameworks to see which aspects of a project are underway and the next steps involved, it is easier to streamline activities and see how different aspects of work fit together. Everyone can better understand their own roles in the organization, leading to clearer direction and process innovation in the workplace. This type of visual organization can help to eliminate confusion and chaos on the job.
Visual management can also help streamline communication in the workplace. Kanban systems use visual cues to indicate what actions should be taken and when. Teams and individuals can use Kanban to split up their tasks into small pieces and lay them out on the board. When people can understand their workflow at a single glance, it is easy to direct communication to the people responsible. Because important information is easily available, there is less need for repetitive calls and emails.
By creating visual representations of the process of your workflow, it can be easier to identify potential pitfalls or problems. Inefficiencies can be highlighted in some areas, while more efficient means of handling data or sections of a project may stand out elsewhere. Visual systems can include software programs or physical boards; most importantly, they allow everyone the ability to see how their own processes work and provide opportunities for improvement.
Companies that make use of Kanban and other visual management technologies have seen productivity increase by as much as 56 percent. Visual tools are an important way to create greater understanding among each department that is working on a project. When people understand the workflow they are a part of, they have a clearer path to success and achievement.
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