Visual management is the process used by organizations to cascade goals and important information/ communication to help align efforts and make it easy to see when a problem exists.
As mentioned in the previous lesson, one of the 3 key elements of Daily Improvement (DI) is to make problems visual. The activity, however, needs to start with clear goals and targets. With these objectives in mind, teams can compare how they are performing today, in the current state, against desired performance levels. As performance gaps are detected, the team can quickly escalate these issues and rally resources to address the underlying problem.
This effort of cascading goals often requires the use of simple-to-understand dashboards to help measure performance in real-time (or as close to real-time as possible). But before teams can start measuring their progress toward a goal, they need to know how their daily work connects to the bigger picture and the organization’s strategic objectives. With strategy in mind, each department needs to develop department-specific goals that influence business outcomes.
When setting department-specific goals, most teams will use SQDIPC as a guide. SQDIPC stands for Safety, Quality, Delivery, Inventory, Process, and Cost. With these goals in mind, teams can look at their operations and determine if any of these SQDIPC items are relevant to their department.
Remember, SQDIPC is just a guide. The best way to determine what goals your department should adopt is to seek the Voice of the Customer as input to your goal-setting process. Knowing what is valuable to the customer and what they believe is important will go a long way in selecting the right goals. Keep in mind that a customer might be an external customer, or they could be an internal customer as well. Knowing what is value-added to your customers helps the department focus on the areas that will likely have the highest impact on meeting customers’ needs.
Even then, these department-specific goals can be slow-moving and difficult to impact. By focusing on lead measures (or areas of high impact), teams can more easily monitor if the changes they are making in their daily processes add to gains and improvements that will bring them closer to achieving their department goals.