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Can value stream mapping be used this way?

Six Sigma – iSixSigma Forums Old Forums General Can value stream mapping be used this way?

This topic contains 22 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  Jonathon Andell 12 years, 4 months ago.

Viewing 23 posts - 1 through 23 (of 23 total)
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  • #45983

    texBB
    Member

    I am new to value stream mapping and am unsure when to use it optimally.  I have been tasked to redesign a business process from scratch with a cross-functional team.  Is value stream mapping the future state a possible approach?  Or does it not get detailed enough?  Does a value stream map always have to focus on one product family or can it apply to an entire high-level business process?
    I like how a value stream map captures a lot more information than a traditional process map.  When designing this process from a blank sheet of paper, I am trying to figure out what tools would work the best.  All suggestions from you fine people are welcome!  Thanks.

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    #151253

    shri11
    Member

    To do your redesing, VSM is definitely on the of approaches,the other way to do it by Process Mapping. VSM can do both,product family or entire high-level business process. If all parts go thru the same process, then one for the high-level process will suffice, else, one for each part family is recommended.
    VSM captures material and information flow so it is more than a simple process map, however doing a SIPOC using a process map might give you the same info. Hope this helps, Thanks, Srikanth Sarathy

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    #151254

    Jim Shelor
    Participant

    Dear Texbb,
    Using a Value Stream is an excellent (and necessary) step in the DFSS process for designing new processes.
    There is some data normally required for a Value Stream Map that you will have to estimate, but defining the end product before you get too far into the process is essential.
    In fact, constructing a Value Stream Map could be considered the primary design step for designing a new process.
    Good luck.
    Sincerely,
    Jim Shelor PMP, CSSBB

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    #151256

    texBB
    Member

    That sounds great.  I am trying to get to Level II detail in the process map.  Will the Value Stream Map get to that level?

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    #151258

    Duke Okes
    Participant

    Depending on the level (e.g., macro vs. micro) that you use in your original, high-level VSM, you may be able to break each process in that map down to a smaller VSM.  If not, just a flowchart with relevant metrics/info will accomplish basically the same thing.
    However, as someone indicated, if the process does not already exist you’ll have to guess at some of the metrics values, and errors in estimates will impact the validity of the VSM/analysis.

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    #151261

    Jim Shelor
    Participant

    Dear Texbb,
    Yes, a Value Stream Map takes you much deeper than a Process Map because a Process Map defines what you are going to do while a Value Stream Map defines how you are going to do it. 
    Additionally, you are eliminating waste in the process as you design it which is the very core of DFSS.
    Best regards,
    Jim Shelor PMP, CSSBB

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    #151262

    texBB
    Member

    We have a Level II current state process map, but we weren’t planning on using it as a baseline.  The client wants to start from scratch because they consider the current process too broken to use.  This process has at least 4-5 process areas.  Loan sales, underwriting, c;losing, funding and servicing.  Each of those areas will have Level II detail in this redesign effort.
    Could I create a regular process map but try to insert information that is on a VSM like information flow, data used, material flow and time spent, plus the relevant metrics?

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    #151265

    Jim Shelor
    Participant

    Dear Texbb,
    You can proceed in your described fashion, however you are proceeding at risk.
    Your customer wants two things:

    A process that works.
    An efficient process.
    If you are not very careful using your method, you are likely to miss opportunities to eliminate waste (non-value added time).
    If you provide your customer with a process that works but has a loe PCE, your customer may consider that a failure and you risk losing future business from that customer.
    My experience in doing the process you are talking about is that using a Value Stream Map in the design process invariably provides a higher PCE than using a Process Map.
    Value Stream Mapping takes longer and is by no means perfect, but I find it infinitely preferable to Process Mapping in new process design.
    Sincere regards,
    Jim Shelor PMP, CSSBB

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    #151266

    gvrk
    Participant

    Typically before getting into VSM the following procedure/steps are followed.i) SIPOC/COPIS ii) High level Process Map iii) Low level or a Detailed process map (this includes subgroups & events/tasks within the identified subgroups) iv) FDM(Functional deployment map) which captures the owner of each task defined in High level process map and the flow of task/activities/events (v) Process walkthrough to ensure all the events/task/activities captured are As-Is and not Should-Be process map (vi) Updated FDM (vii) VSM so that here you will decide wether to eliminate a task/activity/event or identify the value add related to each activity/task/event. While working on Business process redesigning then we need to have proper metric to measure if the business process is bieng set for the first time then DFSS approach should be adopted. Hope this gives an insight to your query.
     

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    #151267

    Adrian Smith
    Participant

    Hi texbb
    As a rule of thumb VSM is most appropriate when your objective is to decrease cycle time and eliminate waste. Other process maps are more appropriate when your objective is defect reduction.
    You need to decide what information is important to you (to the customer/business). Why have you been asked to redesign t he process ? What isn’t working ?
    Once you know this you can select the most appropriate basic map template and develop it to reflect the information which is important to you project. Be flexible, don’t be constrained by how others use the tools, keep the objective in mind and apply a large helping of common sense before implementing any solution.
    One other thing, I would be inclined to map the CURRENT state and decide what’s wrong before trying to map the desired future state. There is always the chance you will design in the same problems that the existing process has !
    Hope this helps.
    Rgds,Adrian
    http://adrian.smith.name
     

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    #151268

    texBB
    Member

    Well, we are assuming that this project was started the correct way, but I was outvoted.  Therefore, I am operating without a baseline on the current process nor a VOC.
    We do have a functional process map on the current process at Level II as I mentioned, but no process measurements.  Therefore, the newly designed process has the risk of neither meeting customer requirements nor being more efficient since there is no way to measure.  Not my choice on how to approach this ( I am sure some of you can relate).
    Given this, I am faced with the task of creating a totally new process while forgetting the current one.  I won’t be using the current one and identifying the VA/NVA activities per se…we will be creating the new process and questioning whether each step is VA or NVA along the way.  The client does not want the team to focus on what is currently done but rather on what should be done in the future.  Can this be done?  Am I headed for failure???

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    #151271

    jtomac01
    Participant

    No you are not headed to failure.  The client is taking a huge risk though on how large the scope of this project or process may become.  What I have found in leading & doing the current state VSM is not only the waste, but the true drivers to the waste.  Many times in designing new processes people put the blinders on because they can see no other way of doing it, but by understanding the inefficiencies or redundancies caused in the current state they typically can design out these in the future state.
    Why is the client to bent on starting with a clean sheet & not to study what the current process?  I know the current process is broken, but the question should be why is it broken?  If they truly do not understand this than they are only setting themselves up for a new consultant or to hire you back again to rework the future VSM.

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    #151274

    TVI
    Member

    First ask why do they want you to redesign the stated process?  What is the objective of the exercise?  If they just want you to ¨make it better¨ in some nebulous sense, I would start working on your balance scorecard issues and project charter….and dont do anything until you AND they better understand the collective expectations.  If they cant tell you what is the problem (deviation from desired performance), what success is going to look like, and why they care about the redesign, you are on thin ice.  Go slow to go fast and get your charter and metrics in place, then use a VSM to organize the activities within your four walls into product families (product creation using similar resources for similar periods of time) and then decide where you want to start your redesign efforts based on something data-driven (ie FTY-RTY, no. of defects for a given line, profitability of a given line, out of control costs, value propropositions for given customers, etc)…all of this depends on the organizational market strategy…do they postion themselves to be cost leaders or market leaders in quality?  This helps deterimine if you go after cost reduction strategies or improvements in product features and performance…cost v. VOC
    Now you can start looking at your cycle times, time to market, floor space, DPU, PPM, etc metrics.  Good luck….be wary of doing anything that you cant map directly back to a P&L or operational budget….and get Finance to work the numbers for you….you want an unbiased business case to support your efforts. 

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    #151290

    texBB
    Member

    You guys have all been very helpful in making my case which was that this was the wrong approach to start with!!  My client believes their process is too slow, contains too many redundancies and too much rework and too many errors.  How is that for specificity?
    There is no baseline measurement to use.  They don’t want to wait for one either.  They  just feel that anything we come up with will be better than what they had and once the new process is in place with metrics, then we can start to identify more specific areas to improve.
    Have any of you done a project with that approach??  Yikes…I feel like this is going to Disasterville.  I tried to stop it, but no one is listening!

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    #151293

    Real World
    Participant

    welcome to the real world of six sigma. now make it work for the client.  

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    #151296

    jtomac01
    Participant

    Yes, I have been on a similar path with various teams.  1st off, what is your approach in doing the VSM?  I typically use butcher block paper, post-it notes & different colored yarn.  Next I insist we lock everyone in a room for a week (how is that for developing a new process in short period of time) (i.e. a cross functional team of decision makers & SME’s).  Then if they do not want to understand the current state, take them straight to the Future state by starting at the end & working to the beginning.  After a few futile days they begin to get the hint that if they don’t understand the current state they will never develop a good future state.  You may get lucky & they may develop a good future state.
    The whole idea is to put down their idea of the future state then do a gap ananlysis or high level fmea.  Once this is complete, do a simulation or two (nothing fancy, but make them play out the different steps with paper & actually make them walk the process steps).  To really throw a monkey wrench have them simulate it backwards (yes, I have done this before) this will insure that no gaps are available.  Trust me they will not see any value in any of what I just told you, chances are they may walk out.  Just remember you are the SME on this process & you need to remind them that is why they hired you.
    Good Luck.

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    #151342

    TVI
    Member

    Oh yeah….and dont call it sigma or lean…call it your style of project management…..others will disagree with this, but there can be a great deal of negativity and pushback with 6S and Lean in certain people and organizations….remember, you are essentially entering into a SME workplace and telling him what he or she is doing wrong…..CAP CAP and more CAP….and leave the jargon, the titles, and the vernacular at the door…..You are one guy who is trying to make significant change without top down support, with an uneducated work force (in terms of the skill set), and no resources (MBB, VP, Lean Master, etc), while working his first project….you need all the support you can get…..spin it as ´what do you guys think?´project management……ok, in with the good air, out with the bad…deep breaths….finding my happy place…and i am done.

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    #151339

    TVI
    Member

    Yep…and good times it was…this is what management does when it doesnt have the insight or the fortitude to properly learn and deploy the skill set….you can be successful, perhaps, maybe, tal vez……
    Charter, Charter, Charter…..YOU CAN NOT WORK A 6S PROJECT under these conditions….I have the pink slip to prove it….but you can work a lean project or kaizen event successfully…your biggest issue is that you must first teach your management how to charter a project to be successful….plan on several iterations and learn as much as you can on proper project chartering….include at a minimum:
    Project Scope (make it very tight and very specific..where are we starting and ending, what is ´inbounds and out of bounds, etc)
    Project Goal (SMART….again, very very specific…make sure the metric or metrics are known and agreed upon….what is success going to look like TO YOUR CUSTOMER – ie evaluators- …it doesnt matter what the right answer is here….it matters what their perception of the right answer is)…
    Problem Definition (again, what is the issue…what is the deviation in the performance metric from the desired state of said metric….specific and quantifiable…people use the term problem without understanding what it is they are saying….deviation, deviation, deviation, and is it severe, frequent, detectable…if not, then it is not a problem)
    Business Case (why do they care?  If you cant tie it to the P&L or OB, sooner or later, you will suffer for that…you must be able to justify your efforts in hard cost savings at some point….no way around it…dont listen to those that tell you otherwise)…..
    Team Members and Roles and Responsabilites (CRITICAL!  Once the organization fully understands the methodology this is a minor element to stress, but at first it could not be more critical….your champion, sponsor, and team members need to know what is expected of each…..YOU do not have all the answers…YOU are not responsible for successful implementation….YOU cant motivate unmotivated people…You can not be accountable for the project results if you are not given the authority to run the project as spelled out in the charter..the charter is the contract between the team and the sponsor, and binds both parties to its elements…make sure they know this…if you deliver the charter and they say, well that wasnt what we had in mind, then you will need to document the fact that you delivered the goal statement that they agreed upon…….THEY have skin in the game as well….the R&R tells them how it is measured and who is responsible…..You need to educate all parties as to the timeline, budget, and scope of the project and how they drive each other…..This thing could turn into a huge shit sandwhich and you´ll be the only only having to take a bite…..think small, specific, measureable, attainable, relevent, dollar-based, and timely….if your project goal statement is not this, then start networking now…good luck

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    #151345

    Ovidiu Contras
    Participant

    You got some good ideas in some of the posts. What I would try is going to the ideal state and work backwards to what is feasible. I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s woth it .
    See what the ideal situation (not process) that satisfies the customer is, and ask Why we can’t do it that way? … several times
    Hope this helps

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    #151369

    shri11
    Member

    The specific examples of the problmes that your client has, lead me to believe that the VSM is the right way to tackle this, as somebody mentioned in an earlier post, for improving cycle time thru the system, VSM is the best way.
    In addition, under each of the processes,
    1)the FTY box will capture the errors,
    2)the redundancies will show up when you see each process box shwo up multiple times,
    Hope this helps,
    Thanks, Srikanth Sarathy

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    #151430

    texBB
    Member

    Great suggestions!  I have already started incorporating them into my plan.
    I guess I am basically screwed!

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    #151579

    M Browne
    Participant

    Lots of good postings here.  When your client wants to start with a clean slate without regard to current state, you need to begin with the end game in mind (outputs, end state).  Welcome to good old fashioned Business Process Re-engineering straight from the 90’s!
    I heartily agree with a few of the previous postings.  You & team are not ready to map anything until you have a Mandate or Project Charter that has:
    Project Scope –  I’ve used business contect diagrams or top level SIPOC to help with this to show boundaries and players in the process
    Business Goal and Case for Action- What does success look like?  If their process is slow and has defects, what is the target?  For an order processing example, if current is 7-10 business days to deliver product to customer do they want to get to 3-5 since that’s what their competitors are doing?  And why do they care to improve the process if not to please their customers or reduce costs (this helps you decide where to focus the improvements)?  I agree that if there is no target to improvement in market share/customers, financials, or operational efficiency then why bother? This also gives you the target that will be measured
    Somebody also said Team Members and Roles and Responsibilities – You are the facilitator/pm, not the SME, correct?  The project sponsor and champions need to drive and communicate the mandate to the team members and pony up the right resources that can MAKE DECISIONS.  If they don’t kick this off, the team won’t have a lot of energy or motivation around this.   And don’t forget to have them include the fact that when you do true BPR, all current roles in the process also go out the window.  Since this makes it a lot of fun for the team players who currently do those processes, you will want to seed your team with folks who are a level above the day-to-day folks.
    Now you are in a position to go off in a room and start white boarding or butcher blocking with whatever BPR techniques work for you. 
    Good luck…been doing this for years.

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    #152011

    Jonathon Andell
    Participant

    The best reference is Rother & Shook’s book Learning to See.
    You also might want to understand how a relationship map works. Rummler & Brache are the best resources for that.
    To over-simplify: a VSM is best when there is physical movement; a relationship map may be a good choice when the process is primarily the meovement of information.

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