VMT’s Guide to Visual Management Board Design Pt. 2


At VMT, we have successfully been working with and for our clients to design Lean Visual Management boards that have a positive continuous improvement impact on their businesses. A well designed and implemented Visual Management board communicates if an organisation or team is having a “good or bad day”. It provides a focal point for team meetings and briefs, helping to foster a winning team mentality. We believe that there are crucial elements to Visual Management Board design that can help boost the success of the boards.

  1.     Take a consistent approach



    A joined-up approach across an organisation where a companies’ values and objectives (sometimes referred to as policy deployment or balanced scorecard) are identifiably linked with that of the individual teams is essential, failure to do so will potentially result in alienation of working teams/business units. To this end, it is important that the Visual Management boards across the various levels of the business have a consistent look and feel to maintain the strong links across an organisation.


    Undeviating use of language/acronyms, typefaces, corporate branding guidelines, metrics and graphical displays will ensure that when walking into a new area of a business it is easy to process the information displayed on a never seen before Visual Management board as it uses familiar visual cues.


    2.     Be as graphic as possible


    As humans we respond much better to visual information than written. A Visual Management board with a high volume of written information will be difficult to look at and understand.


    Use of (relevant and simple to understand) graphs, Status Indicator magnets and Infographics make a huge visual impact and the information they pass on will transcend technical knowledge and language barriers.


    3.     Inform and Update


    Forewarned is forearmed, keeping team members abreast of upcoming projects and important company visits/audits gives individuals the chance to give thought to what they might need to put in place to perform their part in the whole company performance. It allows escalation and discussion of resources that might need to be available and potential issues that might arise in the delivery of a project or new requirement.

    Setting a dedicated look ahead area (to manually update) to a team board where upcoming events and projects can be manually noted down is enough to keep work teams informed and prepared.


    4.     Be visible


    Heading text should be large enough on a Visual Management board that combined with effective use of status indicator magnets, an instant audit of a process or production area’s health can be performed without close analysis of the board.


    Preservation of minimal text and row heights will ensure that the information displayed should never be too small to be seen from a reasonable distance. A good Visual Management board shouldn’t require “close” inspection.


    5.     Look good!


    Visual Management boards should make a positive impact on the workplace. They should tell the workforce that there is a journey of continuous improvement, and they are invited. Engaging an individual’s senses with visual appeal plays a part in ensuring that the workforce see and feel the importance of a Visual Management initiative.


    VMT employs skilled graphic designers who will always ensure that Visual Management boards meet aesthetic as well as functional requirements.