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Decision Diamonds on Value Stream Maps?

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Ken Theriot 12 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #43693

    Ken Theriot
    Participant

    Hi.  I’ve been struggling with a question lately (and fighting with some of my bosses) having to do with “right and wong” when teaching value stream mapping.  Most important, in my mind, should be a VSM’s ability to show at least an 80% accurate depiction of the current state of your value stream.  So some of this is academic.  But even if you don’t use the standard symbols/icons, I’ve always maintained a hard and fast difference between flow charts and VSMs.  The key difference for me is that VSMs should be shown on a timeline.  Another difference from flow charts is that there are typically no decision diamonds on a VSM.  Not only does it mess up your timeline, but it starts adding comlexity to to what should be fairly straightforward. 
    Now my organization wants to standardize VSM training, and one of my bosses wants to use some courseware from a contractor that teaches VSMs as using decision diamonds.  The contractor’s course even teaches them as a matter of course….insinuating they should ALWAYS be used.  I am resisting this, but my boss trusts the consultant…a little too much in my opinion.  Who is right?  If anyone.  Thanks.  
    Ken Theriot

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    #138952

    Charles Hannabarger
    Participant

    Ken,
    I agree with most of your post.  To me, 80% accurate on the Current State is low, but this is probably another one of those “it depends” academic issues, as you intimated in your post.
    As for the inspection steps in the VSM,  I agree that it needs to be as you describe: at a higher level than a process flow / map and with less complexity in the flow details.  I have, however, had a case where it was beneficial to include the inspection steps while working with a company who just could not seem to separate out the inspection process from the value added processes, in their minds.  It was inherently baked into everything they did.  The truly believed their multiple end of process inspections added value by “protecting” the customers.  Didn’t help them to improve quality, but did help them to sort out the bad from the good . .  most of the time, so they thought.  We pulled out the inspection steps on their VSM’s in order to put the que, cycle time, COPQ and Costs of Waste, etc. of their inspection processes “in their face” and make them deal with. It created a major “Ahah!” moment for them.  I don’t think it should be a “matter of course” detail on the VSM, though.  That was the only time I have done this to date, but it worked well.
    I guess the real question is: is this an issue worth charging up San Juan Hill only to end up falling on your sword over the internal political battle if you take this head-on?  Being right is one thing, as I basically believe you are, but many have found themselvs to be “right” and on the short end of the stick.  Only you can make that call, but I do see some potential ways to work around this and reach a win/win, without any direct conflict on the issue, as I trust you do as well.
    Best of luck,
    Charles

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    #139002

    Ken Theriot
    Participant

    Thanks Charles.  Sometimes I need a sanity check. 
    Ken

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    #139003

    Charles Hannabarger
    Participant

    You’re quite welcome, Ken.  Hope I helped.  We all need a sanity check, every now and then.  Womack’s last newsletter provides some good sanity checks for the implementation of lean, developed around the question: “How do measure and know how lean we are?” 
    Best wishes,
    Charles

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    #139005

    Peppe
    Participant

    The answer depend by if your boss paid already consultants or not, and even if he haven’t paied yet, depend by if he chose/sponsor them.
    In any case, the answer not depend by your reasoning.
    Rgs, Peppe

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    #139013

    Ovidiu Contras
    Participant

    Ken,
    I tend to stay away from diamonds simply because this means more ramifications, back and forth loops. In cases where a decision is needed, I prefer going with the “normal” flow and add details on the map. For example, in the receiving process dealing with raw material non conformity, the operation boxes would be: RECEPTION – INSPECTION – RM triangle and add next to the INSPECTION box comments like ” returned 20% in the last month…”
    Hope this helps …

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    #139023

    Ken Theriot
    Participant

    I agree totally!  Thanks.
    Ken

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