A new paper on visual management has been published as a research result in the Digilean project:
Introduction to the paper:
As products become more complex and the competition increases, the development of new products has become more important to companies. During this process the companies needs to have a method for developing sharing correct information at the right time, otherwise projects can be delayed due to re-work and modifications. During the 80’s the Japanese outrun its competitors concerning number of product models in combination with time to market. The Japanese companies relied on a concept later termed as Lean Product Development (LPD). From LPD emerged a method for planning and synchronizing projects named Visual Planning (VP), which have shown strong benefits for its simple design and ability to plan project with little effort and a low threshold to the methodology . VP helps the team to focus on the execution of the project involving resource allocation, assuring deliverables and keeping focused on the common goal. Traditionally the only resources demanded are sticky notes, some pens and a wall to place the notes on. However, limitations of a physical solution becomes apparent when more and more projects are conducted in distributed teams, where information on wall-based boards becomes difficult to share and interact with. One method that has similarities to Lean VP is Scrum and the most obvious difference between the Lean VP board and Kanban/Scrum board is the horizontal axis which in VP is presented by a timeline while on the Kanban/Scrum board is presented as different phases/statuses . Kanban/Scrum boards are common to use within Agile development and especially within software development. Lean Thinking and Agile development are two different but complementary concepts. The research concerning VP is very limited and therefore the name, definitions and description of the methods on the matter varies For example, VP can be included in term Visual Workflow Management. A definition of VP that is used in the context of this research paper, emphasize the support for the team concerning task coordination and is independent of physical boards and notes: One method for development teams to handle this task coordination is to visualize tasks and deliverables to enhance their communication and coordination within the team.