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Value Stream Mapping

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Neo 11 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #49162

    Robyn
    Member

    My lean coordinator has asked me to lead a team in creating a current state value stream map of our Receiving Inspection department.  Does anyone have advice on how to approach mapping a department with no set “production times” and demand based on what is recieved on a day to day basis?  Can decision boxes be incorporated into a Value Stream Map?
    Thanks in advance for any help.

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    #167566

    Rodrigo
    Member

    I would “attach” myself to any received good and “see” what happened to it. I would then take it from there.
    Hope it helps

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    #167571

    Six Sigma Shooter
    Member

    What you are being asked to do is not really a value stream map.  It is a process flow, with som eVSM type information.  Value streams go from wall to wall.  The mapping process is to walk the stream, starting at the shipping end and ending at the receiving end (backwards to the flow), so that the customer perspective is more easily seen and understood. 
    I am slightly surprised that your lean coordinator does not know this.  There are a few good books on the topic, including Learning to See, Seeing the Whole, and Value Stream Management.  Also, the ones who are supposed to do the VSM (but rarely do) are the managment types, so that they can understand the stream, its systems and their interactions.
    Once again, the Americanized version of a great tool has been compromised.
    Shooter

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    #167834

    Sea
    Participant

    I wouldn’t get too disheartened by shooter’s negative comments, it is perfectly possible to do a VSM for what you are describing and get some great results.  Just one word of warning though, think of doing the map for a process or group of processes rather than for a department because you will find that to get the most out of the VSM you must consider what happens end to end and this will more than likely involve more than just your department. 
    First of all identify your customer and remember that this can be an internal customer as well as external.  For your customer demand you say that you just work with what is received on a day to day basis, but have a look at what you have historically had, what is the average workload, min – max, is there a pattern based on the day of the week.
    Then identify your suppliers, if there are any, sometimes there are none.
    Then walk through the process and identify bottlenecks, waste, delay, etc.  The most common things that are identified here are the delays when handing off to other departments or between teams in the same department, re-work loops, and organisational issues with people searching for documentation, etc.
    You can also get an idea of cycle times, inventory or WIP, right first time, delays etc and from this see whether you can meet the demand from your customer.
    For me the key thing is to accept that there will be variation in your process because you have people performing slightly different tasks each time, also you need to think of your people as shared resources if they are not working in the process you are mapping all of the time, so some workers may only have 2 hours per day to work on inspection for example.  Having said this, don’t let it put you off, you can still get value from it.
    Finally it is ok to have decision boxes but try and use them only when the result of the decision triggers a different process stream otherwise your map will become too complicated and you will lose the big picture.  If you want all the detail about every individual step in the process, plot a flow chart.  One of the biggest successes I have had with this type of map was figuring out that 80% of the work that was going down the manual process stream could go through the automated process if we made some simple changes to an earlier step in the value stream.
    If you want a reference book you could try Value Stream Management for the Lean Office by Tapping and Shuker

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    #167855

    Houston Lean Six Sigma
    Participant

    Robyn,
    For what it is worth, I weigh in with Jules.  We have had much success in both classical VSM and what we call ‘focused vsm’ – and yes, decision boxes can be incorporated.  Suggest as reference “The Complete Lean Enterprise…” Beau Keyte, Drew Locher.  However… if I read your note carefully… sounds like the targeted area may have only a limited amount of standardized work process/operating discipline in place…  You need stability in place ahead of VSM… This may reframe your problem somewhat…  hope this helps –  

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    #167864

    Ron
    Member

    You are experiencing the lack of toolkit contained in the “Lean” toolbox” Value Stream maps are only a high level view of a process. You can avarage cycle time or you can actually timethem based onthe different types of items received.
    Lean tools don’t know how to deal with data.
    A better view would be a detailed process map from the sixsigma toolkit which details everything that is done in the process.
    You output is only as good as your inputs.

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    #167878

    annon
    Participant

    What are you trying to accomplish? Your uncertainty comes from not knowing the answer to this question.  The VSM or PMAP or any other systemic diagramming tool is just that…a tool…you first have to know what success is going to look like when your efforts are completed.
    Ask first for the charter, then choose your tools from there. 

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    #167922

    PJA
    Participant

    What is your goal of the VSM? nomally you are looking for waste in a process. Just take what you do and put it down, everyone follows a process, the timing is surprisingly common, you may have different inventory times between steps but for the most part the steps of the process are what they are.

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    #167943

    Robyn
    Member

    Thank you for all your posts.  I am looking into several of the reference material suggested.
    The goal of this project is to identify the wastes in the RI process, and to come up with a plan to eliminate as much of this waste as possible (with the future state map).  Right now, I’m focusing only on the current state.  There are documented processes for the RI department, but the standard work time depends on whether the item is new and requires a First Article, and what type of part it is, as some parts require much more sophisticated means of measuring dimensions while other require only calipers or visual inspection.  I am currently doing time studies and comparing these to historical data.
    Several of you indicated decision boxes could be used.  How would this be incorporated into the VSM?  One decision box I would like to include is when a product does not pass inspection and NCM paperwork must be filled out. 
    Thanks!

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    #167944

    Brandon
    Participant

    Robyn, if you post your email I will send you a Quick Reference Guide specifically addressing VSM.

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    #167951

    annon
    Participant

    Again, ‘Learning to See’ should walk you through it in a fairly straight forward manner….I would only suggest that you approach this VSM event systematically, with an understanding of WHY what you do today (ie reduce cycle times via a VSM event) should be effective tomorrow (ie Why do you think reducing cycle time and reducing non-value adding steps in this process is going to improve a customer-driven performance metric?)  I have been a part of these events that achieve local results with little global effect….Good luck.  

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    #167980

    6Sigma Below The Belt
    Participant

    Metrics is not a problem. Start with your mapping exercise and alot time to baseline the metrics but ensure first that you defined and calibrate these properly.

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    #167982

    Neo
    Participant

    Hi,
    You mentioned that the standard work times are some what different depending on if the product is new or not. I would suggested that you start with a Product Family Matrix and go from there. Trying to incorporate too many “product types” into 1 VSM leads to complexity. You may find that your processes are very different and that you need more than 1 VSM to capture everything……do your best to keep it manageable, other wise you will get very frustrated.
    Hope this helps.

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