Taking a Walk Once designated, the leader and the team need to take a walk together
along the value stream, draw the current state map, and then ask, “Which steps create value?, Which steps are waste?, Why is order flow so erratic?, Why is quality so erratic?, Why are deliveries so erratic?, How can value be enhanced for the end-customer?”
Once the map is drawn so that the current state of an existing value stream is known precisely, it’s time to create the first of two “future state” maps that remove wasted steps while stabilizing processes and simplifying information flows. Future State 1 achieves the future state shown in Learning to See within each facility touching the product. This means introducing continuous flow (as described in Creating Continuous Flow) wherever possible and instituting smooth, leveled pull between the areas of continuous flow.
Future State 2 then introduces smooth, leveled pull with frequent replenishment loops between every facility touching the product. In the process, most warehouses are eliminated, or converted to cross dock operations.
An Ideal State may then co-locate at one site all of the activities required to proceed from raw materials to finished goods, in the process eliminating practically all transport links and needs for information management.
You may or may not find this particular sequence appropriate for your own value streams. In particular, if
you are mapping a new value stream for an entirely new product you will probably want to skip directly from the current (business- as-usual) state to an ideal state. We follow the three-step sequence, beginning with Future State 1, in this breakthrough guide because we believe that this is likely to be the most typical approach.
PART I: GETTING STARTED