Simplifying Value Stream Mapping

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When you start creating a Future State Map it is wise to step back and take a more empirical view of the process looking for major outputs or changes in skill requirements. Dividing the Value Stream Map in this fashion allows you develop chunks or groupings,. This allows the divided Value Stream to be scrutinized and more importantly better define your customer requirement, customer being the next recipient in the Value Stream. It can be challenging to define who that customer is and what the requirements for that handoff are.

In a past podcast with one of my favorite authors, Drew Locher, he related chunking to loops which I like thinking in cycles anyway.

Joe:  You talk about in your Value Stream Mapping approach about identifying loops as an important part of it. Could you briefly explain loops?

Drew:  Well there’s no science behind loops. We don’t always do it; it depends on the complexity of the future state. But basically what happens is when we design the future state, the room gets quiet because people start looking at this picture and start saying, “Wow, how are we going to make this happen?” because it represents significant system wide changes usually. If we’re doing this properly it should. So, we have learned to chunk down the future state into what some people call loops, which allows for them prioritize those and then prioritize the highs and opportunities within those.

So we can start laying out a more reasonable realistic plan that people can have a better sense of, yes, they can accomplish this. That’s really all loops are about in terms of chunking down a future state into pieces that people can get their heads and their hands around in terms of implementing it.

Joe:  And so you do the future state and get it out there. Then you break it in loops and kind of break it off into chunks to be able to accomplish it.

Drew:  Right, and then allow the company to just prioritize it and decide which area is going to have to come first. Which are is going to have to wait. That helps them kind of lay out a realistic plan, because if they put together a plan that’s not realistic, they won’t see the future state through successful implementation, and we just wasted everyone’s time. Which happens, people do not implement the future state.

Entire transcription and Podcast:: Value Stream Mapping with Locher

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.

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