One of the reasons for mapping your current state value stream is to visually represent where issues are within the process. Often, we can get too bogged down in the details and the daily operations of a business, so seeing the entire value stream and where the constraints, issues and wastes are is important to shift mindsets for those working in the business. The above image we took after letting a project team loose with the Post-It notes on their value stream.
They could see the build-up of inventory at bottlenecks, the gaps in information flow and the planning at every stage (over-processing). The notes show additional wastes that have been on their minds, and we placed them adjacent to the step they were relevant to. Pretty soon this team will be conducting root cause analysis on these issues and resolving them one by one. Out of those workshops, great ideas and actions will form.
Pick Charts are a great tool for organising improvement efforts by consensus of a team. There is a good explanation of Pick Charts here. As the team identify actions for each issue that may be beyond what they can change immediately, or that may require more investigation, they plan to add it to the Pick Chart to help them prioritise the improvements and compare the idea value to others on the chart. Not all improvements are going on here, many of the low-cost quick wins will be implemented immediately.
Lean and Business Improvement Specialist
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