Suppose that you propose a trip to your farm team. Then, after saying the city of destination and that you expect all there, you realize that your team has no idea how to get there. What would be your first reaction? You would probably would draw a map and give it to the team, wouldn’t you?
The need to visualize the paths that lead us to a desired destination is the rationale of one of the principles of Thinking +1: visual management. The proposal is to increase the access to information on farm productivity using simple visual elements that allow immediately understanding the current farm situation, the goals, and the obstacles to reach them.
This is the idea of the Production Map, a useful tool to achieve maximum production potential. In short, this map has precisely the same function of the map of a journey: to guide people to safely reach the final destination. In a pig farm, this destination is represented by the goals, which should be visually and clearly presented to all those involved in live production.
In addition of ensuring that the team is aligned, leading to a collective effort to reach a same goal, visual management has the power to engage people, because it allows everyone to objectively have access to critical information, and therefore, look for solutions for the detected problems. When provided with the correct information, presented in a proper and stimulating manner, the employees feel valued and belonging to a broader process, which is the continuous improvement of their workplace.
Check out the benefits of visual management:
1) Everything at sight: a visual management tool, such as the Production Map, provides the most relevant information on the production to all those involved in daily farm activities. We suggest you post it on the walls around the farm.
2) Just a glance allows you to know what is happening: in visual management, the quality of information is always more important than its quantity. Instead of a mass of data, choose key indicators to share with your team.
3) Crystal clear: the map summarizes the management complexity to the operational sectors. Each employee needs to understand the importance of his/her work for the improvement of the results.
4) Coordination effort: based on the map information, the team may identify deviations and search for solutions.
5) Information culture: the use of the map will make you team increasingly aware of indicators and data, improving the management of each production step.
6) More productive meetings: the map sets the agenda for the regular meetings to follow up the farm’s performance, making discussions more dynamic.
The Production Map is an excellent tool to put visual management into practice, but it is not the only one. Each worker may find other ways of visually sharing objectives, results, and challenges of their daily activities. You can rest assured that visual management will drive your team to reach safely the desired destination.
What about you? Do you use visual management tools? Have you tested the Production Map yet? Share your experience with us!