Value Stream Mapping, Process Diagnostics, Theory of Constraints
Lean is all about improving value streams and therefore reducing the time and resources it takes for a process to produce a product or service.
Value Stream Mapping (or Material and Information Flow Mapping) is a powerful visualisation technique to understand the end-to-end performance of a process (value stream). The value stream maps can be generated at various levels of aggregation but almost always display key process elements such as material flow, information flow, work in progress, cycle-times, staff levels, logistic system types etc.
The key purpose of the mapping exercise is to find opportunities to streamline the value stream to increase customer focus and reduce waste in the process in terms of wasted resources and wasted processing time of the product by understanding process bottlenecks and process variation.
The Theory of Constraints is a concept that supports specifically the understanding of buffer dynamics, queuing times and process variation which should support the analysis of value stream maps.
From shop floor staff to middle management
Examples of some key lessons addressed in this training are as follows:
- -What is a value stream?
- -What is the purpose of Value Stream Mapping?
- -Explanation of Signs and other Elements of a Value Stream Map
- -What is a bottleneck?
- -The Principle of Flow
- -The two main constraints of processes : 1) Bottlenecks
- -Understanding Buffers and the dynamics of Queues
- -The Theory of Constraints (E. Goldrath)
- -What can be done to reduce Bottlenecks and improve Flow ?
- -What can be done to reduce Variance?
- -The Pull Principle
Understanding value stream mapping and the visualisation techniques around these tools is all it sometimes takes to make complex operational processes transparent to find the right levers for improvements. This tool is essential if you want to avoid vast lean implementation efforts without any benefits for the bottom line of the organisation.