Visual management is all the trend right now, with large amounts of tape, Blu Tac and Post-Its going up on walls. But why is this happening? Well I believe it’s because of the benefits that effective visual management can provide. Here are 5 of them.
- Provides Transparency
I often hear from people that there is a lack of transparency in their teams. It is not surprising since information is so readily available today that transparency is now just an expectation of employees. By having the work available visually, it not only makes it easily accessible, but more importantly it sends a powerful message of openness and trust.
- Fosters Psychological safety
When work is shared so openly, teams feel safer to be vulnerable with one another. This is often referred to as psychological safety and according to Google’s 2015 research[i], was the number one characteristic for high performing teams. Imagine how much easier it is for team members to share their difficulties when they see that problems are not something to be ashamed of but something to be openly discussed and solved.
- It Increases Accountability
A natural by-product of transparency is an increased level of accountability. Of course, if you want collaborative accountability then team goals are the best way to go. As an example, when a sales team can see on a visual management board that they are short of their team target for the week, the team will naturally want to act and own the outcome.
- Reduces Risk
A lesser known benefit of effective visual management is its ability to help with risk management. Being able to see all the work, teams and leaders can mitigate issues early and there is less chance of it being undetected. A common way that that is seen in teams is through work flow boards. In these scenarios, it is clear when tasks don’t move, which may have implications to the success of a project. With this information available to everyone, it can quickly be treated accordingly.
- Greater Team Alignment
Teams are frequently bombarded with many complex priorities. When a visual management tool is used it can get a team on the same page, fast. Depending on the team, this could look like a simple ‘Focus of the day’ or your major objectives for the quarter. When this occurs, teams make decisions that contribute to accomplishing the same outcomes.
Whilst I believe that effective visual management can unlock some key benefits for your teams, every team will have different needs, goals and contexts and therefore requires the right implementation. If you’d like a hand with it, let’s have a chat over coffee some time.