The visual to see
In visual management, there is ‘visual’. This means that the information is presented on panels, which are treated in an order, one after the other. This makes it possible to go through the different axes of analysis and sharing of the project: voice of the customer, product, actions, continuous improvement and team life.
It is in a visual way that the issues are expressed in the panels, particularly in terms of the voice of the customer, the product and the actions. This information related to the issues is seen, reviewed, discussed and shared regularly, which allows them to be challenged (content, positioning over time and consistency). Without this visibility and regular analysis, it is difficult, on a complex project, to understand the coherence of actions and choices and therefore for a manager to fully play his role as leader.
The ritual for looking together
It is not enough to make things visual. You have to share them. In visual management, the signs are analysed and updated in a structured meeting. Everyone knows how often the panels are visited and how much time the team spends on them. Each person plays a role: leading the exchange, ensuring the panel is updated, being the timekeeper, actively listening, etc. The appropriation of these rules of the visual path gives rhythm, brings value to all and reduces the loss of time: each participant has prepared the meeting and all the subjects are addressed (results, risks, difficulties, questions, decisions, etc.).
All this is only possible if each participant adopts the right posture, especially the management team, which, by its exemplary nature, will instil the necessary postures: discipline, acceptance of problems, the right to make mistakes, transparency, active contribution, field visits, etc. The project manager must use his or her coaching skills and accompany the team in the use and adaptation of visual management.
An effective ritual (constructed and adjusted by the team) and postures adopted by all create a climate of trust and security. The project leader can then easily mobilise individual and collective intelligence to keep the project aligned with the objectives.