Friday, April 13, 2007

The "Visual Walk By" test

The “Visual Walk By” Test


We just added two new engineers to our manufacturing team.  An ongoing project for us is to learn how to handle the myriad of project requests that are falling their way, even four days into their tenure.  

The three of us worked on developing a visual tool to help manage this.  They had several good ideas and they mocked them up, putting the tools on the wall.  Handwritten, rough, visual.  Taped up.

Another colleague of mine, familiar with our method of creating visual tools, saw this and walked up to the hand-written charts while the engineers were not around.  He knew, without having to ask me, that the test was if the charts explained themselves in two minutes or less, with no one around.  His report? 

“It told me about 75% of what I needed to know.”

The good news:  it drew him in and told him some of what he needed.

Today’s learning:  we need to fill in the other fourth of what wasn’t obvious.

The test itself is worthwhile.  You might try that on your charts and graphs.  

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