Saturday, March 13, 2010

Make Sure to Get Both Sides of the Story When Value Stream Mapping

when conducting a stream mapping session I recommend considering the following...

  • people are much more likely to find inefficiencies in other group’s work than the work they are doing

  • many individuals don’t understand or really appreciate the value that other groups provide. (Eg developers struggle with architects, business struggles with IT, overall delivery teams struggle with operations and infrastructure)

What this means is that you absolutely have to include an outsiders perspective when conducting value stream mapping session. People within an organization or department of an organization really have a challenging time in even identifying internal issues until either clients or suppliers are brought in to discuss challenges from their perspective.

When ever doing a value stream map, do your best to include someone who is an outsider from the perspective of the scope of what you are mapping. Obviously that outsider has to be part of the value "ecosystem". But needs to be able to look at what the group is mapping from the outside in.

While there has been much discussion within the lean about how trade-offs between groups are one of the biggest efficiency killers, it think including value stream "outsiders" does a lot more than just aid in identify these external hand off related issues. The interaction between people from different groups encourages a much deeper look into the internal processes of the value stream. Bad service can often be equally blamed on issues from both the client and the partner, and getting them together encourages them to figure how to to take an honest look at how they are working and dig deeper to come up with solutions.

value stream mapping

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