Ambiguous Visual Controls

Ambiguous Visual Controls: This is Elite Access

By Jon Miller Updated on February 26th, 2019

Thanks go out to Bill Sampson, a lean six sigma consultant and friend of mine for snapping this photo of an ambiguous visual control in an airport boarding area.

This attempt at visual management raises more questions than it answers. What is the intended designation of “normal versus abnormal”? What is a person to do? The blue mat is for elite status passengers to board the airplane of others, so maybe this is a shortcut to the door? But what about the solid lines on the floor? What do they mean? And the closed squares? One person per square? And what about the dashed lines on the floor? Is there a right side and a wrong side of these lines to stand in? Does the angle of the blue carpet indicate that I should board between those two poles?

It must be an elite thing: if you have to ask, you aren’t welcome to board yet. Perhaps after I have flown another million miles I will understand. Then again, if you have to ask, you don’t have visual management.

  1. Mark Graban

    May 24, 2009 - 8:55 am

    It’s an “airlines and airports are horrible with this sort of thing” thing — see trouble with runway markings and signage… way more important (and potentially deadly) than confusing gate markings.

  2. Raghavendra

    May 28, 2009 - 11:31 pm

    what is a role of Kaizen Promotion Officer?

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