Unleashing Productivity for Organizational Excellence: The Art of Visual Management


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Executive Summary: 

Whatever your organization, efficient collaboration is essential to the success of your projects. However, traditional methods of collaboration, whether oral or written, don't always guarantee clear and comprehensive information sharing. What's more, with the development of hybrid working and increasingly geographically distributed teams, maintaining a high level of commitment and understanding between members of an organization has become more difficult. 

If videoconferencing tools are no longer sufficient, visual management is emerging as an effective solution to these problems. Gartner predicts that by 2024, visual collaboration applications will be the primary tools in 30% of meeting experiences. By harnessing the power of visual aids such as images, diagrams, and recognized work methods, visual management enables you to convey complex ideas clearly and concisely in your project management, training, and other activities. What's more, it encourages the involvement of participants by making them actors in their collaboration.

Often embodied by the virtual whiteboard, visual management encompasses many more possibilities by combining several collaborative tools. By facilitating asynchronous communication, encouraging diversity of expression, and simplifying interaction between teams, boosts their productivity. All-in-one platforms like Klaxoon offer the most complete visual management experience to companies, enabling them to stay competitive and boost their results tenfold.

According to a Forrester study, 67% of corporate decision-makers believe that visualizing ideas and processes is essential to their work (Improving Collaboration Tools Facilitates Creativity, Innovation, And Profitability, 2021).

In the workplace, this ability to structure projects and collaboration calls for visual management. This is a set of business management techniques involving visual aids such as images, diagrams, drawings, or graphs, to convey sometimes complex ideas.

A person working on a dual-screen computer, displaying a table completed according to the SIPOC method, in columns of specific colors. | Klaxoon
For example, the SIPOC diagram uses visual management to categorize shared ideas according to a color code.

Today, working practices based on visual management have become essential in organizations, with remarkable gains in efficiency and performance. However, the tool that most often embodies visual management in the workplace is the virtual whiteboard or online whiteboard. However, this tool alone is not enough to create a complete, fluid collaboration experience that fully engages everyone in the organization. 

Understanding all the mechanics of visual management, and knowing how to combine them with the right tools, is the first step in unlocking efficiency gains across all businesses and at every stage of their collaboration.

In this guide, we'll introduce you to the different levers of visual management that will help you perform more effectively. We'll also look at how to combine them to deploy them effectively throughout your organization and boost your ROI tenfold.

The mechanics of visual management that improve efficiency

Why oral or written communication is no longer enough

Whether it's presenting, pitching, or writing a report, we all use both oral and written communication in our daily work. However, neither of these two means of expression guarantees a controlled result in your interactions:

  • Oral expression: communication is transactional (exchange of information between several parties), and each exchange is unique. It is impossible to reproduce exactly as it is, as its outcome is closely linked to the context and the participants involved.
  • Expressing oneself in writing: conveying a message in text form has also become uncertain, since readers are now more likely to scan it, especially online. According to research carried out by the Nielsen Norman Group on average site visits, at 111 words on a page, users read only half of the information displayed.

Yet we understand a visual 60,000 times faster than text (also known as Picture Superiority Effect bias). The reason, according to MIT research, is that 50% of the human brain is directly or indirectly linked to what we see. 

Visual management is, therefore, the best language for aligning everyone around the same source of truth and accelerating understanding of complex subjects. 

In business, the first methodologies based on visual representation and understanding appeared with Lean methods and Toyotism in the 1960s. Since then, visual management methods and applications have proliferated, not least because of their ability to enhance learning.

Visual learning and information retention

Over the ages, science has identified various ways of learning, the main ones being : 

  • Visual learning: the brain retains information from what the eye sees, in the form of a succession of images.
  • Auditory learning: assimilation takes place through information transmitted orally.
  • Sensory (or kinesthetic) learning: it's the act of performing an action and putting ourselves in a situation that favors memorization.

Depending on our active senses, we need all these channels to assimilate information effectively. However, 65% of people, i.e. a majority, now claim to achieve better results through visual learning.

Presenting information visually also helps to structure it, making it easier to memorize quickly. Miller's Law shows that a human being is capable of retaining an average of 7 items of information plus or minus 2, i.e. between 5 and 9, over a short period. This is also why good UX (user experience) practices aim to limit the number of options in each part of a site or text and prefer to segment their content into several short sections.

A comparison of user experience practices on a website. On the left, a page displaying a single section with many pieces of information. On the right, a page displaying the same content is segmented into several subsections. | Klaxoon
Information is easier to assimilate when it is visually segmented: on a website, this can mean offering several smaller sections or menus.

On the other hand, visual learning also plays an important role in engaging learners. As early as school, we use it in the classroom through the use of chalkboards. Whether it's chalk, marker, or digital, this medium enables us to create interaction, follow the course, refocus the group on certain elements, collect feedback and questions to engage all students and make sure they feel listened to and valued.

In the corporate world, this need for engagement can be found at every level: in meetings, training sessions, project management, at team level, or across the board... Email exchanges, and even presentation tools such as PowerPoint, have only been able to meet this need to a limited extent. There is even talk of a "death by PowerPoint" phenomenon, due to the lack of engagement generated by this type of presentation, which is generally very top-down. 

So, rather than simply visually presenting information, there is a real need to make participants actors in their collaboration, to assimilate information effectively in any context.

The role of context and communication modes

Among the essential elements of context in our professional environment, the cultural aspect plays an important role in effective communication. The concept of high-context and low-context cultures illustrates the diversity of ways of expressing ourselves at work, depending on the culture from which we come: 

  • High-context cultures (including most Asian countries, the Middle East, and Latin America) take greater account of contextual elements: the interlocutor's attitude, past experiences, etc. 
  • Low-context cultures (e.g. the United States and Scandinavia) rely above all on direct, explicit communication.

In the case of collaboration between people of different nationalities, with different skills and experiences, visual management encourages diversity of expression for all, whatever their cultural background. It enables each participant to check his or her understanding of a message instantly by writing it down and also helps to foster commitment by inviting them to ask questions, either orally or in writing, whichever suits them best.

In this way, visual management particularly facilitates hybrid communication between distributed teams. It breaks down language barriers thanks to visual codes that can be understood by all and simplifies interactions that might otherwise be hampered by a lack of non-verbal language, particularly in video and remote environments.

As we have seen, transmitting information visually is only the first step towards effective collaboration at all levels. Deploying visual management throughout your organization requires a combination of methods and visual tools to truly engage all teams, anytime, anywhere. 

How to apply visual management anytime, anywhere?

Visual management and asynchronous collaboration 

Asynchronous working is an important aspect of hybrid working and a key factor in improving efficiency without the need for systematic meetings. It enables stakeholders to interact and make progress on their issues in a staggered way, at a pace that suits them best.

Visual management is also a way of facilitating asynchronous collaboration, both before and after moments of real-time interaction. Let's take a look, for example, at how it can boost the commitment of training participants at these different stages:

  • Before the course: preparation and sharing of upcoming session materials, and first reading by learners in asynchronous mode before the course.
  • During the course (synchronous): structuring of exchange times, dynamic interactions, and answers to questions.
  • Post-course: measuring and monitoring participants' learning, collecting feedback to adjust future sessions, and answering questions they may have had after the course.

In the same way, these practices can be extended to your entire organization and applied to all work situations where you need your employees to take ownership of a subject

  • Defining an action plan
  • Making a decision
  • Conducting an ideation session, etc.

For better immersion and assimilation of information shared asynchronously, many organizations today use quizzes, surveys, or gamified pathways in addition to their virtual whiteboard. They are therefore looking to go beyond the use of the online whiteboard alone and offer a complete collaboration experience in an all-in-one visual workspace.

A person completing a Quiz on mobile. | Klaxoon
For example, with a quiz, it is easier to evaluate participants and accurately measure their progress.

A complete visual management experience thanks to all-in-one platforms

In a Forrester survey of 2021, 85% of organizations surveyed said they had implemented or were planning to implement a full suite of collaborative tools in the coming year. What's more, 82% said that investing in this type of solution would enable their organization to remain competitive, or even to position itself as a leader in its sector.

Beyond the use of the whiteboard, it is the complementarity of several collaborative and visual tools that can improve team collaboration and efficiency.

In this respect, the all-in-one Klaxoon platform offers a collaborative workspace, using visual management to maximize your efficiency from anywhere, at any time, and on any subject. 

Depending on your collaboration objectives, it provides you with complementary visual tools:

  • Centralize, structure, and share information and ideas with Board, Klaxoon's virtual whiteboard;
  • Gather opinions from a group to obtain an overview of trends with Survey ;
  • Assess and test participants' knowledge with Quiz and immersive gamified pathways;
  • Share knowledge and secure next steps with Memo;
  • Interact and engage participants on specific topics with Question;
  • Facilitate meetings or training sessions in synchronous sequence with Session;
  • Group and share activities with a defined audience within the Network.

In addition to simplifying and enhancing your collaboration, all-in-one platforms like Klaxoon also enable strategic savings, as well as better optimization of your time and budgets.

Mathieu Guenroc: “Information is presented in a more concrete and visible way; we know what’s going on in the team and our exchanges are more factual.” | Klaxoon
Discover how Mathieu Guenroc and his team at Crédit Agricole Côtes d'Armor use Klaxoon to transform their weekly meetings.

How can you harness the power of visual management in your organization? 

1. Ensure compliance and security in deployment

In addition to offering a complete and intuitive visual management experience, your collaborative platform must comply with current standards and regulations on security and data protection

Just like other professional tool suites, visual management platforms are subject to regulations governing the sharing of user data. Make sure you also define an internal governance structure, to establish best practices according to the level of sensitivity of your data.

2. Integrate the platform with your existing tools

When adding your visual management platform to your application portfolio, your information system must remain unified and coherent. To simplify this step, make sure your platform offers advanced integrations with the tools you use daily: the Microsoft suite, the Google suite, Jira,...

A person working on a computer displaying a Board directly available in a Microsoft Teams videoconferencing space. | Klaxoon
For example, Klaxoon integrates with Microsoft Teams, allowing you to benefit from your visual management tools to structure your meetings directly from the Teams interface.

In this way, interactions between all these tools are facilitated, and you're able to offer a seamless, fluid experience to end users, accelerating their adoption of the platform.

3. Deploy a pilot on a reduced perimeter

Before considering an organization-wide deployment, be sure to test it first with a reduced number of volunteer teams. In this way, you'll be able to identify potential bottlenecks and problems and resolve them without affecting your entire information system at the same time.

4. Ensure appropriate support for adoption

Internally, make sure your teams are aware of the benefits of your new visual management platform. Offer them dedicated training and step-by-step support, to help them familiarize themselves with the changes that will transform their day-to-day working practices.

During this phase, you should also encourage your employees to experiment and test the tool's functionalities and to use it as much as possible. For the quickest among them, this will be an opportunity to identify your first in-house uses and to spread them to save time in adopting the tool on a larger scale.

5. Create a culture of continuous improvement

Finally, bear in mind that the adoption of visual management practices is an ongoing process, involving continuous exchange, evolution, and adjustment. Set up dedicated processes to gather feedback from employees on the effectiveness of the platform and its deployment. 

This will enable you to establish a genuine culture of continuous improvement and give you the resilience and flexibility you need to increase your efficiency tenfold, even in a context of many uncertainties.


According to Gartner, by 2024 visual collaboration applications will be at the heart of 30% of meeting experiences. More than this, the entire work experience will be enhanced by the power of visual management, especially by all-in-one visual collaboration platforms. 

Would you like to find out more about the Klaxoon platform? Contact us to discuss how it can help you collaborate more effectively, accelerate action, and generate tangible results.

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