Visually documents a process (including key data as captured on a value stream map)
Helps team see how a process should work (future state) once they eliminate waste
Helps communicate inside and outside the organization
Tips on process mapping, p. 34, gives practical tips for generating a useful process map. Review as needed.
p. 36, gives tips for going out to watch what really goes on in a process. Always a good idea at the beginning of a process improvement project, even if you think your team
p. 38, is a simple diagram for identifying the basic elements of a process (boundaries, supplier inputs, process inputs, steps, customers and outputs). Most teams will want to do a SIPOC diagram at the beginning of their project to capture a high-level view of
Process mapping steps, p. 39, covers the elements of creating a flowchart.
Transportation diagrams, spaghetti/workflow diagrams, p. 42, are specialized maps that show unique ways to depict different aspects of workflow. Skim through to see if they could help your project.
Swim-lane (deployment) flowcharts,
p. 43, are
Value stream map,
p. 45, is a "process map with data"—a tool for capturing process data (on WIP, setup time, processing time/unit, error rates, idle time, etc.) as well as flow. The foundation for Lean improvement
Value-add/non-value-add analysis, p. 49, gives guidelines for identifying which work in a process your customers value and which they do not value. Every project that involves process improvement should establish before and after levels of value-add and non-value-add cost.
Time Value Map, p. 52, and Value-add Chart (task time or takt time chart), p. 53, are visual tools for emphasizing how process time is divided between value-add and non-value-add work. Particularly recommended for teams whose members are new to thinking in VA/NVA terms.
Documentation is no substitute for observation.
You MUST walk the process and talk to the staff to find out what really goes on day to day. Do this even if you're
A flowchart is a means, not an end. Don't get so wrapped up in creating the perfect flowchart that you delay the value-add work on a project. Only go to a level of detail that is helpful for the project.
Boundaries of what to map should come from your project charter. If boundaries are not spelled out, check with your sponsor(s).
Involve a cross-representation of those who work in the process to create the map. No one person will have all the process knowledge you need.
Process maps are
Process study should include at a minimum …
Basic value stream map with value-add vs. non-value-add identification; add other project-critical metrics as
If you work in transactional processes, you may find the
If your project will focus on improving the workplace, use a workflow diagram to get a visual map of the workspaces
High-level view: Depicts the major elements and their interactions. Should show the role of feedback and information flow. Useful early in a project to identify boundaries and scope. (Not useful during improvement because of lack of detail.)
Depicts specific actions, workflow,
Current/as-is: Captures the process as it works today. Most projects should include a current map of the project.
If the problems are so severe that a major process redesign is required, create an ideal/future map instead
Created by asking "What would we do if we didn't have any of the restrictions we have today? What would we do if we could start from scratch?" Helps
Stretch your team's
Should-be maps must be consistent with the goals set down in a team's charter.
Describes the new process flow after changes are implemented. Do a to-be chart as part of solution planning or when designing or