Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA / Edition 1

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Senior experts within the Toyota Production System often draw simple maps when on the shop floor. These maps show the current physical flow of a product family and the information flow for that product family as the wind through a complex facility making many products. Much more important, these simple maps - often drawn on scrap paper - show where steps can be eliminated, flows smoothed, and pull systems introduced in order to create a truly lean value stream for each product family. In 1998 John Shook and Mike Rother of the University of Michigan wrote down Toyota's mapping methodology for the first time in Learning to See. This simple tool makes it possible for you to see through the clutter of a complex plant. You'll soon be able to identify all of the processing steps along the path from raw materials to finished goods for each product and all of the information flows going back from the customer through the plant and upstream to suppliers. In plain language and with detailed drawings, this workbook explains everything you will need to create accurate current state and future state maps for each of your product families and then to turn the current state into the future state rapidly and sustainably

The lean tool kit is intended to be a dynamic and continually evolving means of sharing knowledge between lean thinkers. We value your feedback on the tools and encourage you to share your experiences in using them.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780966784305
  • Publisher: Lean Enterprise Institute, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Series: Lean Enterprise Institute Ser.
  • Format: Spiral Bound
  • Edition description: EDITION 1.2
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 34,065
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Rother began his career in the manufacturing division of Thyssen AG and has spent 10 years learning to apply lean practices through consulting at several different companies-both large and small. Mike also teaches at the University of Michigan, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, and studies Toyota. He finds there is always another level of lean to practice and understand.

John Shook learned about lean while working for 10 years with Toyota, helping that company transfer its production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to its overseas affiliates and suppliers. He now splits his time between directing the University of Michigan, Japan Technology Management Program, and working with companies to understand and implement lean manufacturing. And he is ever studying and learning about lean.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Jim Womack & Dan Jones
Part I: Getting Started
What is Value Stream Mapping?
Material and Information Flow
Selecting a Product Family
The Value Stream Manager
Using the Mapping Tool

Part II: The Current-State Map
Drawing the Current-State Map
Your Turn

Part III: What Makes a Value Stream Lean?
Characteristics of a Lean Value Stream

Part IV: The Future-State Map
Drawing the Future-State Map
Your Turn

Part V: Achieving the Future State
Breaking Implementation Into Steps
The Value Stream Plan
Value Stream Improvement is Management's Job
Appendix A: Mapping Icons (also inside back cover)
Appendix B: Current-State Map For TWI Industries
Appendix C: Future-State Map For TWI Industries

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We have discovered an amazing thing. While so many of us have been scratching our heads trying to figure out why the road to lean has been rockier than it should be, a vital yet simple tool that can help us make real progress toward becoming lean has been right under our noses.

One of us, Mike, had long searched for a means to tie together lean concepts and techniques, which seemed more disparate than they should be, as he worked on many plant floor implementation efforts. Mike noticed the mapping method while studying Toyota's lean implementation practices. He realized mapping had potential far beyond its usual usage, formalized the tool, and built a training method around it that has proved extraordinarily successful.

The other of us, John, has known about the "tool" for over ten years, but never thought of it as important in its own right. As John worked with Toyota, mapping was almost an afterthought-a simple means of communication used by individuals who learn their craft through hands-on experience.

At Toyota, the method-called "Value Stream Mapping" in this workbook -is known as "Material and Information Flow Mapping." It isn't used as a training method, or as a means to "Learn to See." It is used by Toyota Production System practitioners to depict current and future, or "ideal" states in the process of developing implementation plans to install lean systems. At Toyota, while the phrase "value stream" is rarely heard, infinite attention is given to establishing flow, eliminating waste, and adding value. Toyota people learn about three flows in manufacturing: the flows of material, information, and people/ process. The Value Stream Mapping method presented herecovers the first two of these flows, and is based on the Material and Information Flow Maps used by Toyota.

Like many others in recent years, we were struggling to find ways to help manufacturers think of flow instead of discrete production processes and to implement lean systems instead of isolated process improvements. We struggled to help manufacturers make lasting, systematic improvements that would not only remove wastes, but also the sources of the wastes so that they would never come back. For those who simply give the mapping tool a try, we have been pleased to see how exceptionally effective the tool has proved to be in focusing attention on flow and helping them to see. Now we present it to you.

Mike Rother and John Shook
Ann Arbor, Michigan
May 1998

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When we launched Lean Thinking in the Fall of 1996 we urged readers to "Just do it!" in the spirit of Taiichi Ohno. With more than 100,000 copies sold so far in English and with a steady stream of e-mails, faxes, phone calls, letters, and personal reports from readers telling us of their achievements, we know that many of you have now taken our and Ohno's advice.

However, we have also become aware that most readers have deviated from the step-by-step transformation process we describe in Chapter 11 of Lean Thinking. They have done a good job with Steps One through Three:

1. Find a change agent (how about you?)

2. Find a sensei (a teacher whose learning curve you can borrow)

3. Seize (or create) a crisis to motivate action across your firm

But then they have jumped to Step Five:

5. Pick something important and get started removing waste quickly, to surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish in a very short period.

Yet the overlooked Step Four is actually the most critical:

4. Map the entire value stream for all of your product families

Unfortunately; we have found that very few of our readers have followed our advice to conduct this critical step with care before diving into the task of waste elimination. Instead in too many cases we find companies rushing headlong into massive muda elimination activities - kaizen offensives or continuous improvement blitzes. These well intentioned exercises fix one small part of the value stream for each product and value does flow more smoothly through that course of the stream. But then the value flow comes to a halt in the swamp of inventories and detours ahead of the nextdownstream step. The net result is no cost savings reaching the bottom line, no service and quality improvements for the customer, no benefits for the supplier, limited sustainability as the wasteful norms of the whole value stream close in around the island of pure value, and frustration all around.

Typically the kaizen offensive with its disappointing results becomes another abandoned program, soon to be followed by a "bottleneck elimination" offensive (based on the Theory of Constraints) or a Six Sigma initiative (aimed at the most visible quality problems facing a firm), or ...But these produce the same result: Isolated victories over muda, some of them quite dramatic, which fail to improve the whole.

Therefore, as the first "tool kit" project of the Lean Enterprise Institute, we felt an urgent need to provide lean thinkers the most important tool they will need to make sustainable progress in the war against muda: the value stream map. In the pages ahead Mike Rother and John Shook explain how to create a map for each of your value streams and show how this map can teach you, your managers, engineers, production associates, schedulers, suppliers, and customers to see value, to differentiate value from waste, and to get rid of the waste.

Kaizen efforts, or any lean manufacturing technique, are most effective when applied strategically within the context of building a lean value stream. The value stream map permits you to identify every process in the flow, pull them out from the background clutter of the organization, and build an entire value stream according to lean principles. It is a tool you should use every time you make changes within a value stream.

As in all of our tool kit projects, we have called on a team with a wide variety of practical and research experience. Mike Rother studies Toyota, has worked with many manufacturers to introduce lean production flows, and teaches at the University of Michigan. John Shook spent over ten years with the Toyota Motor Corporation, much of it teaching suppliers to see, before also joining the University of Michigan. Together they possess a formidable body of knowledge and experience - a painfully constructed learning curve which they are now sharing with you.

We hope readers of Lean Thinking and participants in the activities of the Lean Enterprise Institute will use the mapping tool immediately and widely. And we hope you will tell us how to improve it! Because our own march toward perfection never ends, we need to hear about your successes and, even more important, about the nature of your difficulties.

So again, "Just do it!" but now at the level of the value stream, product family by product family beginning inside your company and then expanding beyond. Then tell us about your experience so we can share your achievements with the entire lean network.

Jim Womack & Dan Jones
Brookline, Massachusetts, USA and Little Birch, Hereford, UK
Tel: (617) 713-2900; Fax: (617) 713-2999
E-mail: info@lean.org; www.lean.org

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