Friday, January 31, 2003

So what does a Visual Display Look Like?

It seems pretty ridiculous to talk about visual displays and only use words. But I have conquered this hurdle and I now have some images posted that you can peruse.

Our system utilizes two simple charts. One is a daily display that collects the appropriate data during the day by the folks doing the work. The second is a chart that summarizes the entire month on one sheet.

Here is our daily chart for our design group. It uses color and "thermometer" symbols to indicate magnitudes of work done. Hand-written. Using colored markers. Very simple. Each color indicates progress for one of the four teams in the group.

This daily chart then provides the data for the design monthly chart. This chart allows one to see an entire month's trend.

A key technique we use is the "Five Day Cumulative" which you may be able to read on the image. This accounts for the severe fluctuation in job size from day to day. Rather than worrying about just what happens day-to-day, we manage with the five day cumulative figures. My thanks to Hal Macomber for introducing this concept to us.

Applying the same principle to our Purchasing Department, we again have a daily chart, with figures appropriate for that group. Again, note the thermometer and several "yes/no" check boxes. It takes, literally, seconds to update this chart during the day.

This group also has its own monthly chart. You can see here some squares with both writing and yellow highlighting. This is a visual cue that a goal was met for that day.

There is much more that could be said about these incredibly simple and powerful tools. I welcome your questions via email or on the comment section. I'll do my best to answer them. I hope this is helpful.

Feel free to forward to a friend. Email me

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