Strategos Logo Strategos Site Search

Visual Control

5S & Visual Control

stop sign indicator
Traffic Signal
Crossing Gate Control

Visual Control provides information to guide everyday actions. Traffic signals and signs are the most common examples. It is a powerful tool for enabling good decision-making at the micro level. The table below summarizes different types of visual control and gives examples. Visual control is a natural partner of 5S and is used in boundaries and many other ways to ensure that tools get replaced, that people follow safe practices and that quality checks are done.


Power Description Examples


An indicator only provides information about the immediate environment or situation. Indicators are passive and people may not notice them or respond to them. 

-Street Signs

-Level Indicators

-Auto Fuel Gauge

-Aisle Markings


Power Description Examples


Signals grab attention with visual (or audible) alarms. People may still choose to ignore signals but they usually perceive them. 

-Traffic Lights
-Low Fuel Light
-Aircraft Stall Warning


Power Description Examples


Controls limit behavior through strong visual messages or physical restrictions as an action takes place.

-Traffic Gates

Addresses & Nameplates

Basic Nameplate

Addresses and nameplates are helpful in any organization but especially so in large firms. This simple nameplate gives basic information: Cindy Works Here.

Complete Nameplate

A complete nameplate has a phone number if Cindy is away; a photo so a new visitor may recognize her; responsibilities so they know if they have the right person; an alternate contact if Cindy is unavailable.

Giant Banner For Shop or Classroom

5S Banner-Poster Next Page

Click to Enlarge          Buy Poster/Banner

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Value Stream & Process Mapping

The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes  beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader how to do it and what to do with it.

Buy Book

Lean Briefing Newsletter

The free newsletter of Lean strategy

Subscribe to Lean Briefing Newsletter
Strategos Books & Videos
Books & Videos

Facilities & Workplace Design 

Cycle Counting Guide

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video

Contact Webmaster


PUB FEB 2016