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Visual Management at Airbus Defence & Space


Developing appropriate capabilities to communicate the project requirements, tasks and status is key for achieving success. Airbus Defence and Space has committed to implement Visual Management at different levels of the organisation, led by the CEO and all the C-Suite. Different tools such as the workflow control board and the SQCDP has been put together, creating a collaborative culture that supports the company in achieving its project targets.

About the Company

Airbus Group creates cutting-edge technology and is a global pioneer in aeronautics, space and defence-related services. Combining a European past with global outreach, the diversity of the company’s talent and technology drives innovation, integration and internationalization

Airbus Defence & Space was created in June 2014 as a result of the integration of Airbus Military, Cassidian and Astrium, all of which were previously part of the EADS group. This division has a presence in 18 European countries and in more than 30 countries worldwide. It is organized into four business lines, including Space Systems, Communications, Intelligence and Security, and Electronics and Military Aircraft.

Visual management is a tool that facilitates coordination and performance of workers and project leaders. It makes possible to identify risks, anticipate problems and define countermeasures.

Furthermore, the tool decreases the error likelihood and improves communication. Through Visual Management, it is possible to control established objectives and standards through monitoring agreed indicators (KPIs). Hence, it permits detecting any deviation and consequently, correct it.

Airbus Defence and Space uses Visual Management at all levels. The C-suite leads its use by example, headed by the CEO (see figure below) and currently, this practice has been applied in more than 130 teams in the organisation.

03 Airbus D&S - Figure 3.14

Airbus DS uses different tools for Visual Management such as Practical Problem Solving (PPS), Skill Matrix, Delivery Tracking, Task allocation and availability calendar among others. However, the two main components of the company Visual Management are:

  • Workflow Control Board

  • And SQCDP board, which stands for Safety, Quality, Costs, Delivery and People. The board supports periodic meetings to monitor the process and detect emerging problems.

To conclude, in Airbus Defence and Space, Visual Management has proved effective with respect to integrating the staff in projects and activities. It not only helps the employees to get the big picture of a project, but also to identify their own responsibilities. Also, this practice promotes individual commitment, communication and team engagement.

Book 2017 - Mockup 01 (small-900px)

Airbus Defence & Space’s Best Practices are presented and described on more than 31 pages in the Lean Product Development Best Practices book. Airbus Defence & Space’s chapter is only one out of the 10 chapters presenting the real-world application of Lean product development in multinational companies.

The hard copy of the book with the 10 cases is available for only 74.99 EUR.


Airbus Defence & Space’s Lean Product Development case is available digitally free of charge to our members.


Interested to become a member?



Lean Analytics Association

Dr Flores has over 20 years of experience collaborating as an internal or external consultant in different manufacturing and services organizations, leading several initiatives related to Lean Thinking, Business Process Improvement, Six Sigma, Supply Chain, Change Management, Open Innovation, Digital Transformation and Human Centered Service Design; providing also training and coaching.

She is co-founder and president of the Lean Analytics Association (LAA) and visiting scholar at the College of Management of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland.

She carried out her Post-doc at EPFL collaborating at the Lean Product and Process (LeanPPD) FP7 European project from 2009 to 2013. She completed her PhD in 2006 at the Politecnico di Milano studying Open Innovation Models to enable Industry-University collaboration for innovation. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Manufacturing Systems in 1999 and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Monterrey Tec (ITESM) in 1996.

Airbus Defence & Space

David Muñoz is currently a Lean Expert at Airbus Defence & Space. After 6 years working in Lean Manufacturing and Lean Engineering at Airbus Commercial, David started a new journey deploying Lean at Airbus DS. In the last 4 years, he has focused on Lean Management and strategy in Programs, Engineering, Procurement, Quality and Manufacturing.

In his current role, he is leading the missions in the task force in Military Aircraft to provide solutions to the main problems identified across the Business Lines. On the other side acting as responsible for aligning Lean strategy for Airbus DS subsidiaries as well as the leader of benchmarking on Lean with other companies.

David Muñoz holds an M. Eng. in Industrial Engineering and is also currently Associate Professor of Lean Fundamentals as well as a tutor of PhD at UAM University.

Airbus Defence & Space

Silvia Pascual is currently a Lean Expert at Airbus Defence & Space. After 5 years working as an Aeronautical System Engineer, Silvia started in 2012 working in Lean Engineering and currently, she is supporting continuous and business transformation in areas as Quality, Manufacturing, Programs and Procurement.

She is responsible for identifying improvement opportunities and takes the accountability of specific End to End Missions within Military Aircraft. As part of her role, she offers specific solutions based on lean methods, tools and practices. In addition, Silvia is responsible for the deployment of Hoshin Kanri to establish the Strategic objectives and Projects of the organization. Also, she supports transversal activities as processes harmonization and knowledge sharing.

Silvia Pascual holds a Degree in Aeronautical Engineering, a M. Eng. in Industrial Engineering and a Master in Systems Engineering.

Lean Analytics Association

Javier Ricardo Amaya Silva is a project leader at Lean Analytics Association. He graduated with honours from Universidad Industrial de Santander with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and thanks to a merit- based scholarship, he obtained his masters’ degree in Engineering and Management of Manufacturing Systems from Cranfield University. There, he researched how Lean and Industry 4.0 technologies can transform the logistics operations.

Before, Javier was a 2-year consultant and developed projects for multiple Colombian manufacturing companies, developing Hazardous Energy Control programs and Electro-mechanical risks assessment. Also, Javier has a vivid entrepreneurial spirit and since 2013, he is the director of a start-up in the interception of the agricultural and technology sector.

Myrna Flores
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