Visual systems, or visual tools, are devices that make apparent what should be, and is, going on in a process. Depending on how they are employed, visual tools can make the following apparent:
- When something in the process is going wrong, where it is going wrong, and what is going wrong. For example, a visual device might signal when a step in the process has broken down or is running slow. Thus the need for attention is visually apparent.
- When the process is being executed according to plan.
- What employees need to do next, lessening the burden on supervisors to direct employees’ every move. This facilitates a more worker-directed process with less management intervention.
- Where a piece of equipment or a unit of work-in-process ...