Value is one of the most important concepts within Lean thinking and one of the most valuable outcomes Lean provides. Value Analysis focuses on what adds value to business processes as perceived by the customer. A process that does not add value to the product or service should be redesigned or eliminated altogether. Problem solving and continuous improvement efforts often focus on those aspects of processes that add no value to the customer and are therefore wasteful. Read more »
In a Lean culture, Waste is anything that doesn’t add value from the customer’s perspective. It includes activities and resources beyond what is needed to meet customer requirements. Waste Analysis involves identifying, quantifying, eliminating and preventing waste in manufacturing, service and office environments. Many Lean tools and techniques focus on continually identifying and eliminating these wastes to bring efficiency and effectiveness to existing processes, and this is one of the core principles of Lean thinking. Read more »
A process box is used to indicate the process name and covers one area of continuous flow where products flow without being stored, queued or delayed (or without significant waiting time between steps).
Data boxes are used to carry all data related to a specific process box. Data boxes can also be used to display data and performance information related to inventory, transportation and important suppliers and customers (see below). Read more »
A Value Stream Map (VSM) is a visual representation that helps to understand the flow of value in a business process as perceived by the customer. Its primary goal is to identify and eliminate waste (Muda) and make the process as close to lean as possible. It is considered as an improvement tool rather than just a definition of how the process operates or should operate. Although it is often associated with manufacturing, it can also be applied in product development and service related industries such as: healthcare, hospitality and logistics. Read more »
A SIPOC Map is a high-level process map that defines the scope of a process and its inputs, outputs, suppliers and customers. It represents the flow of the process and its key elements in a table format. It is widely used in process design and improvement initiatives to identify relevant information before starting a project. SIPOC is an acronym that stands for Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs and Customers. Read more »
A Flowchart is a diagram that shows how the steps in a process fit together. It allows to break any process down into individual activities and illustrates the flow of the process as well as the relationships between its activities. Its simplicity makes it useful for understanding processes and finding flaws and inefficiencies for further problem-solving efforts. It is often used to provide a detailed view of how a process should be or what needs to happen. Read more »
A Process is a set of activities that occur in a coordinated manner to achieve a common goal. It takes one or more inputs to create an output that is of value to the internal or external customer. Almost any business operation can be thought of as a process, and managing these processes is key to the success of any organization. Processes can be either production or transactional in nature.
A Process Map is a graphical representation that illustrates the chronological sequence of activities in a business process. Read more »
A Flow Process Chat is a symbolic representation that illustrates the sequence of actions within a process. It records the steps of a process along a vertical line. It is used to show the steps of a process using symbols along with text. It is commonly used when analyzing the steps in a process to help identify and eliminate waste. It is also called Process Sequence Chart. Read more »
Time Value Map is a tool that tracks how a specific process spends its time. It’s a graphical description of value-added and non-value added time in a process. The aim is to eliminate waste and streamline the process whenever possible.
Only activities that are seen as value-added by the customer are plotted above the middle line. Read more »