#How visual management helps in production
Why visual management allows you to create employee engagement and understand business progress?
One of the ways I prepare a team or in fact an entire organisation to visual management is as follows. Whilst walking around a company, genba with a group of people, from sales, production planning, maintenance, supplies, I ask them questions to see how well they understand their business. Here are a few examples;
Q. How many times did this line stop yesterday?
A. Oh, I don’t think we had any, but I will need to check.
Q. How much down-time did we have on that process this month?
A. There were one or two bigger problems but we fixed them.
Q. How many overtime hours does this department generate each month?When we get back to the office I will check my computer.
A. Well, recently we have had quite a few overtime hours.
Q. How many of these orders get sent out to the client on time?
A. Oh, almost all of them, we had a problem with one specific order, but I would need to check.
Q. What do you do with the quality defects you pick-up whilst still in the plant?
A. QC department has them, they keep them somewhere or at least samples of defects. Shall we ask them when we visit the department!
Q. How many ideas did you have from employees last month that you implemented?
A. Ah, we used to have ideas when we paid the employees for them. We even had quite a few good ideas. We stopped the scheme of paying for ideas and then the improvement ideas, kaizen’s as you would call them, stopped coming in.
Q. What is your sick leave like as a percentage for this department?
A. You have to ask HR for that.
Q. Can you let me know what is your rotation of new employees within the first six months of starting work, and any data you have on the long term employees.
A. You have to go to HR for that, but we are proud of our retention policy. We pay employees an extra bonus if they don’t leave within the first six months.
Q. What is your cycle time on these five process, when was the last andon called, do you modulate the number of direct line employees to the volumes?
A. Er, we just try and get the orders processes as fast as we can, not sure we need that cord to stop the line, this is not automotive , this is a far more complicated business then building cars. We can’t just bring in and out direct line employees that would be impossible here.
We need facts, not opinions. The computer system does not own the process data you do, on the whiteboards.
Visual management is no substitute for going to Genba and understanding the situation.
Are your employees embracing visual management or do they have their faces covered from knowing what is really going on.