Once upon a time, management worked on a given set of administrative patterns. The management thought of the policies and the goals, allocated a budget for a project, put a project manager on the job, asked him to collect his own team, and then asked him to report back to them periodically. Any ensuing problem meant that the project would have been held up to the management for scrutiny where a solution would be found to get rid of that problem in a systematic manner. It could possibly take a couple of weeks to solve that problem, so that the project could be executed successfully.

However, we cannot afford such a time lag, in today’s fast-track world. There is a reason why you need up-to-date minute to minute information of how a project is progressing and what may be the potential pitfalls it may face in the future. This can be given to you by the information which is displayed on a visualization board on your production floor.

So how do you use your visualization boards as part of your continuous improvement strategy?

Visualization boards or production control boards are visual management tools which give your employees important information. This information is a part of the necessary communication flow between the management and the workers. It can also be the information give-and-take between departments, and individuals. These production control boards can be modified to your own requirements and specifications. You can put any sort of information on these boards. They can either be in the form of charts, graphs, scoreboards, KPIs, status reports, status signals, color signals (RAG – Red, Amber, Green), et cetera

Proper information given to your team at the right moment is going to help you avoid a lot of hassles in the long run. That means the moment the production control board is updated through the computers with the latest data about a production status, you can understand whether everything is going smoothly or there are some potential snags which would need to be ironed out in the next stage of production. The given data along with availability of human resources and raw material needed for the next stage of production can give you time to get all the necessary equipment and human resource, well within the deadline.

Just imagine that you have a visualization board in your department. It gives all the people in your team information about the goals achieved by one of their team members. It can also give them information about previous records, if your business is target oriented. This target is normally highlighted in an easily recognizable color – black. The achieved target is going to be highlighted in green. It shows that the team has been working to the optimum of its potential. A red sign on the visual board shows that they have come up with some problems. These problems need to be tackled immediately. The management and the experts have to find an immediate solution to that problem. These boards can also be used as a subconscious incentive to the people in your team to challenge themselves in trying to achieve their periodic targets, or try going beyond them.

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