The Power of Visual Controls in the Workplace – The “Good, No-Good” Game

May 23, 2012

As an invited guest and speaker at a company’s annual 5S Benchmarking Summit I was impressed with a fun game they played with some of their Continuous Improvement (CI) Team members – “Good, No Good or Mixed.” The way the game they played the game was contestants were shown a picture taken from their own workplaces and asked “Is this visual good, no good, or mixed?” They could apply their own criteria, but basically – could they tell what was going on or what the message was supposed to be in a very short period of time (whoever raised their hand first got to answer first)? The scoring was 1 point if they got the “good, no good, mixed” answer correct and a bonus point for getting the reason “why” correct. Now since this was a contest, the competition was fierce (I love Americans and our competitive nature).

What I liked about this game was that it taught me to look at workplace visual controls in a very critical manner. How effective are your visuals? Does it make sense to others? One of my favorite parts was when a visual popped-up that was created by one of the CI Team Leaders; he very vigorously defended his visual as he had to listen to the other CI people say how it was lacking and what could be improved. Remember, no matter how good you think a visual is you have to test it to make sure that it is getting the right message across.

Try answering these questions with your visuals:

  • Does you visual make sense to the people that need to see it? Ask them.
  • Is it labeled?
  • Can people recognize the message is a short period of time? Versus having to have to have training to understand what the visual is supposed to convey.
  • Can we make this better?

Try this game at your company and “see” what happens!

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