Marketing Your Value Stream

In the Lean Marketing concept, Value Streams differ from the more traditional approaches found in other Value Stream Mapping Process. Its primary focus is not the discovery of waste but of process improvement with a very specific strategic intent, delivery of superior value for the execution of an organization‘s value proposition. This means that the focus of the analysis must be on those Value Streams and processes within those Value Streams that have the most substantial impact on the most important value drivers. These are the drivers that customers are telling you to create value.

Deming FlowTime and time again, I see companies being held back with an internal perspective of managing a Value Stream. A key point of Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s philosophy was that organizations should be managed as systems of interconnected and interdependent processes. Deming’s flow diagram exemplifies his thinking.

However, even in the most common definition of a value stream, “All of the activities, required to fulfill a customer request from order to delivery,” we limit our thinking to internal practices. The more advanced companies may include their vendors, and even the most advanced will have a few customers participating in focus groups.

Marketing Your Value Stream

Value Streams and Value Stream Management should act as a powerful communication, learning tool that benefit not just the organization but the entire ecosystem. A Value Stream is your key for alignment and used as a tool to propel vendors, customers and yourself forward. If you are not empowering others outside of your organization through your Value Stream, it has little value.

The transformation that is occurring in the VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) World today is unprecedented. It is sending a mandate that we must have control of our processes and the ability to learn at a rapid rate. Understanding and extending our knowledge around our value stream cannot happen from internal or isolated thinking. That says that you know everything you already need to know.

Awareness of innovation and markets happen at the intersection of where our product/service is being used by our customers. In their playground, not ours. Learning from customers goes beyond listening, it must incorporate participation at some level.

There are no two companies alike. The unique nature of your product/service, delivery and most of all the promise you make to your customers determines the structure of your marketing value stream. This why I give you an opportunity to take the program and dig as deep as you would like.

Marketing Your Value Stream creates:

  • A Value-Oriented approach to your Sales and Marketing
  • Learning from market and user research rather than opinions
  • Excited customers about your products/service
  • Awareness of new customer needs
  • Timely responses to key events, moments, patterns and trends
  • A shared understanding of all participants of where they are going and why.

Who will benefit? Value Stream Managers, Process Specialists. Engineering Managers, Sales Engineers, Sales Manager, Product Manager, Customer Support, Business Developments, Salespeople, Service Manager, Product Development and Design, Program Managers, Human Resources.

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My Thoughts on Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping is not part of Marketing Your Value Stream Program 

A Value Stream Map is a comprehensive set of activities and communications that collectively creates and delivers value to the customer. A typical approach to process improvement is to select a process of concern to the organization, map all the details of the process, remove the non-value added activities and then fix whatever seems to be broken. The non-value added activities should be determined from the customer’s point of view. Most organizations focusing on system redesign do so with the intent of reducing costs.

A VSM begins with a customer need for a product or service and ends with that customer’s belief that he has received something of genuine value. Value Streams typically are made up of several inter-connected processes and involve any number of functional areas within the organization. An important distinction in Lean Marketing concepts is that the Value Stream Map exists to deliver value to an external customer. This approach in the Lean Marketing concepts of Value Stream Mapping is similar to the traditional approach; we evaluate the entire set of processes, communications, and activities that make up a Value Stream. Employing a flowcharting approach, we describe exactly how value is currently being delivered by the organization and how you can deliver it more effectively and efficiently.

The Value Stream Map (Current State) points out those critical value delivery processes as they currently exist. The map then provides the Value Stream Mapping Team with the template to redesign the value delivery process to:

  • Increase the responsiveness of the system
  • Enhance its value delivery capacity
  • Deliver greater customer quality at a reduced cost to the organization.

The actual skill of Mapping is very learn-able and a skill that can be developed. The keys to effective Lean Marketing using Value Stream Mapping is in mapping the right processes, identifying all process linkages to key customer contacts, making dramatic improvements on key customer benefits, eliminating only those costs that don‘t contribute to outstanding value delivery and monitoring the impact of those improvements on your market-perceived value proposition. These are only achievable if the analysis is driven by your customer value information. The effects of superior value delivery manifest themselves in a number of different ways. Superior value deliverers can leverage their value position to:

  • Increase share of the customer
  • Increase market share
  • Increase goodwill
  • Improve cross-selling efforts and results
  • Avoid the trap of price competition
  • Increase profitability
  • Decrease operating costs
  • Enhance word of mouth
  • Decrease negotiation and bidding of customers

Your Value Streams are the focal point of any significant targeted improvement efforts and should be the driver for enhancing your organization’s competitive value proposition.

Workflow Mapping    Value Stream Mapping    Value Based Mapping   Service Product Mapping    Metrics Based Mapping     Outcome-Based Mapping