A few other maps that can be used in Lean was explained by Steven Borris in his book Strategic Lean Mapping. It includes Big Picture Map, Process Mapping, Capacity Mapping, Value-Stream Mapping, and closing with how to use this information for better problem solving and decision making.
Related Podcast and Transcription: Lean Mapping
An excerpt from the podcast:
Joe: I thought what was interesting about your book when I picked it up is that Value Stream Mapping is a powerful tool but people really think that is the only mapping tool in Lean and they have a tendency to, “Oh, we need to value stream map this…” like out of the blocks or something, but you wait pretty far in the book to introduce it.
Steven Borris: Yes. I’d have to be honest; I use Value Stream Mapping less than most. What I find is that when you have got the other map itself laid out, you can use that map for anything at all. You can use it for risk analysis, you can use it for manpower, you can use it for looking at capacity problems and bottlenecks, and you can use it for process mapping. Even with what I call the Big Picture Map, once you’ve got the Big Picture Map, and you find all the issues, you can then just add the VSM part in the bottom. Because really the VSM part is just a little castle- wall part where it either adds value or it doesn’t. I usually find that people don’t know how much time they spend doing stuff or how much time they spent waiting, so it tends to be quite hard. You got to go in and get rough ideas to make some measurements. I think the Value Stream Map comes at the end of doing the mapping.
Joe: Can you talk about the flow of your book? You start out with what you call…I think a Big Picture Map.
Steven: Yes. The Big Picture Map is the one that Agnes Pollock taught us. When I worked for SMAS, it was different when I worked for National Semiconductor. We used to do process maps and analyze what we were actually doing. But the Big Picture Map was trying to see how the whole company operates. I used to have to go into a company, and I’d have a day, originally it was a day, basically we had a day to try and analyze their issues. We were government based, so we had to save the company money. If you do a map, you don’t really save any money. The map tells you what you will save, but it doesn’t actually save anything. I was going into companies, and I was struggling to find all of the issues we had. We had to do more gamble work, more talking to directors and eventually what would happen is that if a company was good enough and it would accept to go for some project, we would try and start with the map.
We could do a Big Picture Map with all the senior managers in a day, possibly two, and that way you can call up all of the issues that we have because it looks at the customers, it looks at the suppliers, it looks at all of the admin, and then all of the production plus goods and shipping. It looks at every part of the company, but what it doesn’t do is look at people.
If you’ve got all of the managers in there, one guy is doing something, it was maybe a company and they all think that if we do this modification, they would be able to wake up the productivity. Usually that can happen but you have no idea that the next place down the line suddenly gets flooded with what they can’t handle. When you’re doing a Big Picture Map, somebody can say, “Well when you did that, we had these problems…” and suddenly it gets things into perspective.
Whenever I try and analyze a company, the best place to start is with a Big Picture Map. That way you can find all the key issues, you find the ones that you know about, but you can usually bring up a few that they don’t know about. Some of the things they’ve discovered have been quite amazing, and these are only the superficial problems. The sort of bigger problems that people have an idea are there, but a lot of them they don’t even think exist as problems.
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