This evening we conclude our series on value stream mapping. We have covered lots of ground. If you are just joining us, no worries, you can catch up by reading the following articles.
- Value Stream Mapping Overview
- How to Create a Product Quantity / Product Routing Matrix
- Let’s Create a Current State Value Stream Map!
- Let’s Create a Future State Value Stream Map!
What Have We Really Accomplished?
Here is a sobering fact… short of uncovering lots of opportunities we haven’t accomplished much up to this point. A skeptic could say all we have done so far is draw some nice pictures.
With this said, the most important aspect of the value stream mapping process has yet to be started. That aspect is actually making changes and bridging the gap between the current state and future state VSM.
There are many approaches to this and even more templates available. I am a simple man, and thus prefer to keep things as easy as possible. As such, I know of no better tool to help with this phase of the game than the kaizen newspaper.
Extra, Extra Read all About it!
The kaizen newspaper is a simple template that states the following:
- The Problem Statement. Simply put, what is the problem we are addressing. To help ensure you are stating your problem statement properly I highly recommend you keep things SMART.
- The Objective. What is the goal or point of the initiative? Again, think SMART when stating the objective. Don’t just say we want to make it better. How much better? What does success look like?
- The Owner. Who is leading the initiative? Seeing your name on a huge piece of paper hung on the wall can be a poweful motivator!
- The Due Date. When will the initiative be complete? Since kaizen never ends you may choose to simply state the date the act/adjust phase begins.
- The Phase. Here we note what phase of the plan, do, check, act/adjust (PDCA) we are in. If you are more of a six sigma organization you can easily replace PDCA with DMAIC. Do whatever works best for your business.
Here is free kaizen newspaper template to get you started. Feel free to tweak it as you see fit. Some like to add in things like the type of waste you are attacking, etc.
Revisiting KB&R’s PB&J Sandwich Factory
The team at KB&R has lots of work to do. They have decided to list out their plan of attack using a kaizen newspaper. Rather than showing the detailed kaizen plan, here are the highlights.
First, they are going to design, build, and then test the new cell that will operate in one piece flow, paced to takt time. They will do this “offline” in such a way that production is not impacted.
Next, they will also work to properly size the FG and WIP supermarkets and associated kanban. They have hired a lean consultant to help them with this since this is very new territory to them.
During the development of the pull system the production planning team will determine how they will move away from their old MRP manner of scheduling each work station. Instead, they will now schedule the pacemaker process.
Finally, the way KB&R communicates with its customers and suppliers will change. To accomplish this, meetings have already been setup in order to work this process out.
The team has broken these tasks done and assigned owners using a kaizen newspaper. This newspaper has been printed out on on a plotter sized piece of paper and hung on the wall for all to see.
Taking action is the most important part of value stream mapping. If all you do is draw up a current and future state VSM and leave it sitting in drawer you have wasted an enormous amount of time.
Will the finished product (post kaizen) look exactly like your future state VSM? Probably not. But as long as improvement is being made you are on the right path.
Last Piece of Advice: Be Speedy!
My last word of advice is this… be speedy! A current state VSM can be done in 1 day. The future state VSM should start that same day… or at the latest the next morning. Don’t, I plead with you, think you will get to the future state VSM next week. That is the kiss of death!
Finally, once the future state VSM is complete and the point kaizen events are identified, set aggressive goals. I have seen tremendous transformations occur in 4 days! These lighting fast transformations are culture changing to say the least.
I hope you have enjoyed this series on value stream mapping. We have covered a lot of ground to be sure. To continue your VSM learning journey you may consider checking out these resources. They have helped me a lot over the years.
Learning to See. This is the bible on value stream mapping. It teaches you how to “see waste” in a new way.
Creating Continuous Flow. After learning to see waste we must learn to make value value flow. Learn all about creating cells in this workbook.
- Creating Level Pull. Learn all about kanban in this excellent resource.