What “Obeya” Means to the Massaro Way
March 2, 2018
– One of the tools used in Lean construction is visual management.
In the Toyota Way this is Principle 7: Use visual control so no problems are hidden. In the Massaro Way, we are using visual management to bring our projects to life. We are increasingly using visual clues to bring more people into the conversations that are critical to achieving project excellence.
Research has shown that there are many different ways people learn –by listening, reading, doing and seeing. A visual workplace is a non-verbal method of sharing information. Everyone is made aware of the status of the work and is easily able to spot abnormal conditions. The goal of visual management is to allow people to “see” the project and what is going on. The more engaged people are in the project the more likely they are to care about the outcome.
Examples of visual cues can be:
- Safety messages
- Laminated floor plans that people can write on
- Conditions of Satisfaction
- Plan Percent Complete
- Days without recordable injury
- Milestone dates
- Required inspections
Using visual cues is an excellent way to keep everyone focused on what is important to the project at any given time.
We are so committed to becoming a visual company that we recently created an Obeya room within our office. On the walls of this room we have populated all of the data which we believe is necessary for managers to make the right decisions at the right time. Through visual cues we are able to see where issues have the potential to impact the success of the project in time for us to do something about it.
One of my favorite pieces of advice was given to me by one of our highly respected customers at the start of a recent project. He said, “Joe, if you have a problem raise it early when a little bit of help can do a lot of good. Don’t wait until it’s too late when a lot of help can only do a little bit of good.”
By shortening feedback loops through visualization we hope to be in a position to resolve issues before we are forced to solve problems.
Article by Joe Massaro, President and CEO of Massaro Construction Group