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11 Examples of Visual Management

Visual management is the process of using visual information to improve work. This can include visual data, color coding, shapes, photographs, media, uniforms, floor markings, iconography, signs and any other visual that can help to improve work outcomes. The following are illustrative examples of visual management.


Communicating information visually. Naturally, this may be combined with numerical and textual data.
Every station on a production line can see the real-time number of defects that have been detected by quality control at the end of the line. Where the number of defects is within expectations it is green. The field turns red and starts blinking if defects are high. This calls for each workstation on the line to look for problems at their station that may be causing the defects.


Visual information that communicates who has failed to deliver.
A dashboard that shows what business units, teams, processes or products have achieved a compliance target in green and those that have yet to comply in red.

Decision Making

Visual information that helps managers to make informed and timely decisions.
A sales manager can see a visualization of the sales pipeline assigned to each sales team as a bar graph at each level of the pipeline such as opportunity, proposal and negotiation. This allows the manager to quickly identify teams that are at risk of being underutilized in order to assign new opportunities.


Visual information designed to help solve a problem.
Network operations staff are provided with a flow chart that clearly visualizes the troubleshooting steps that may address a particular type of network problem.


Colors or other visuals that indicate priorities.
A field maintenance worker is given a daily schedule of work that is color coded to indicate emergency maintenance tasks in red.


Visual information that makes a task easier to complete.
A workflow for a repair task that requires a widget part shows a photo of the part on the workflow screen. This may help people to identify the correct part more quickly and accurately.

Human Error Reduction

Visual information that reduces latent human error.
A factory that has more than 20,000 pipes color codes these pipes by type to help prevent maintenance work on the wrong pipe. For example, a water pipe would be a different color than a hot exhaust pipe.


Organizing information, environments, processes or events with visual elements.
An event uses three different colors of chairs to identify three different seating sections.


Tracking completed work, stages of work or the status of items.
Quality control puts a small sticker on each unit that passes inspection. Units that fail inspection are marked with a larger sticker and sent for repair, reuse or recycling.


Visual information that makes processes or tasks more secure.
A bank employee is meeting with a customer who wants to open a line of credit. As part of the process, they are presented with screens that show high resolution images of the identification that the customer used when they opened their account.


The use of visuals to communicate information that is relevant to safety.
A construction company has different types of safety gloves that must be worn for different types of work. These gloves are clearly color coded so that a worker wearing the wrong gloves for a particular job would visually stand out to peers and safety inspectors.
Overview: Visual Management
The process of using visual information to improve work.
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