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October 27, 2011

The true value of Value Stream Mapping

By Rodney Reddic October 27, 2011

When setting out on the journey to become a Lean organization, companies often miss the true importance of utilizing Value Stream Mapping.  Often companies overlook implementing Step Four (Value Stream Mapping product families), as outlined in Chapter 11 of Lean Thinking.  This can be a critical mistake in creating a sustainable Lean Initiative.

Value Stream Mapping should be viewed as the backbone of any Lean Initiative and process improvement endeavors.  Simply picking trouble areas for improvement without examining the entire value stream of the product family or families utilizing the resource can create undesirable results long term.  Value Stream Mapping provides us with the information necessary to understand the actual flow of materials, resources and information through all processes from start to finish for the family of products or services chosen.  By obtaining this knowledge, we can see where flow is interrupted and where to start making improvements that increase the flow across the value stream.  Simply attacking a troubled area in the process without understanding the true value stream could introduce additional WIP (work in process) and inefficiencies in the processes, thus increasing the process lead time across the overall value stream.

Value Stream Mapping - Current vs. Future State

Current State vs. Future State

Value Stream Mapping provides us with a tool to start process improvement through a systematic approach.  We start by mapping the current state for a particular product family from start to finish usually within the four walls of a facility.  From this current state map, we apply Lean tools to create a future state map with an improve process lead time focused on eliminating waste and creating flow across the entire value stream.  This future state map dictates where and what type of Kaizen Events (Improvement Events) will be required to meet the future state map objectives.  The results of our future state map implementation are evaluated against the performance metric objectives developed for the future state value stream.  The future state accomplished through our deployment of Kaizen Events is now our current state for the value stream.  A period of evaluation should be performed and the value stream mapping process repeated to create a new future state map.  This process could take place several times in the journey to become a World Class Company.  Typically value stream mapping plans should be developed with implementation to be completed within (6 -12) months.  This process is repeated for all value streams across the organization to achieve world class improvement results.   The true value in value stream mapping is the creation of process improvement plans that can be implemented systematically across the company with sustainable results.

September 23, 2011

The $6 million PowerPoint presentation

By tpryor September 23, 2011

21st Century entrepreneurs and business owners are writing smaller business plans but doing more business planning. Verbs are becoming more important than nouns.

The founder of a new company recently received $6 million venture capital without providing investors the traditional 40-page business plan document. She instead used a 12-slide PowerPoint to communicate the case for her venture followed by a Q&A where she very capably answered all of the investor’s questions to their satisfaction. PowerPoint Presentation

She had no plan (noun), but she had done the planning (verb).

Rhonda Abrams, who shared this story with me, has sold more than a million books on business planning. On September 7, 2011, she shared what has and has not changed in business planning.

What has changed?

Rhonda said, “Writing is no longer as important as the planning process and activities.” Very few people take time to read a 35-page business plan. Instead, they read the 1-page executive summary.

What has stayed the same?

  1. Investors expect in-depth preparation by the business leader, e.g., what is your niche, who is your customer, how big is the market, what is the make-up of the management team? Leaders must know their stuff, inside and out.
  2. Business leaders must have financial acumen. They must be able to explain Financial projections for their P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow report. Numbers are how we keep score.
  3. SWOT analysis … strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is still neede
    d. Plans must include inside and outside perspectives about the organization.

What’s new?

  1. Feasibility analysis is something new in Rhonda’s books. Do a feasibility analysis BEFORE developing a business plan. TMAC calls this step “Fail Fast, Fail Cheap, Get Smart”.
  2. Think globally. The internet now makes it much easier for a manufacturer to sell product internationally. TMAC and Small  Business Development Centers have specialist who help American companies import and export product.
  3. Do more marketing and less sales. Peter Drucker said “Salesmen are a crutch for a poor marketing plan.” Every company should be using social media to market their products and services.
  4. Be socially responsible. B Corporations are replacing LLC’s and C-corps. B-Corps focus on the Triple-Bottom Line of People, Profit and Planet. For info go to www.BCorporation.net .
  5. Faster business plan presentations are best practice. No more than 12 critical slides and expectations of 5-year or less ROI’s for projects and investments.

What improvements have you implemented to your organization’s business planning process?

November 11, 2010

Ready or not, here AS9100C comes

By David Ross November 11, 2010
Hovering gang... RIAT 2009 RAF British Aerospace Harrier GR9A

Image by xnir via Flickr

Just when it seems you finally get used to something, someone goes and changes it. Like many things today, Quality Management System requirements continue to evolve. From 1999 to 2009, the AS9100 Standard has been revised 3 times! The latest revision places more emphasis on how organizations identify and manage Risk, Special Requirements and Critical Items. Additionally, new requirements for Project Management, Configuration Management and On-Time-Delivery significantly effect how registration audits will be conducted.

Continue reading “Ready or not, here AS9100C comes” »

Management Constraints vs. Physical Obstacles

By Mark Sessumes November 11, 2010
an illustration of the bullwhip effect

Image via Wikipedia

For the last 18 months, I’ve been working with a company that has been seriously pursuing a Lean initiative.  Often, I see companies that claim to pursue lean only to realize they’re just dabbling. They  haven’t adopted the principles of lean to guide all facets of the business – but that’s not what’s happening here.  . At this company, the way they measure  business and operations has presented a serious obstacle.  Left unaddressed, this obstacle will limit the companies’ ability to move forward in their lean initiative. Continue reading “Management Constraints vs. Physical Obstacles” »

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