The technologies of Industry 4.0 provide an opportunity to improve the effectiveness of Visual Management in manufacturing. The opportunity of improvement is twofold. From one side, Visual Management theory and practice can inspire the design of new software tools suitable for Industry 4.0; on the other side, the technology of Industry 4.0 can be used to increase the effectiveness of visual software tools. The paper first explores how the theoretical result on Visual Management can be used as a guideline to improve human‐computer interaction, then a methodology is proposed for the design of visual patterns for manufacturing. Four visual patterns are presented that contribute to the solution of problems frequently encountered in discrete manufacturing industries; these patterns help to solve planning and control problems thus providing support to various management functions. Positive implications of this research concern people engagement and empowerment as well as improved problem solving, decision‐making and management of manufacturing processes.
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