Practical Value Stream Mapping Workshop At GE Service Centre

Practical Value Stream Mapping At GE Service Centre

“Whenever there is a product or service for a customer, there is a value stream.
The challenge lies in seeing it”

These are the opening words in the publication ‘Learning to See’ where Mike Rother and John Shook take us step-by-step through the process of Value Stream Mapping and identifying waste within the Value Stream. Since then Value Stream Mapping has become a proven and effective method that helps us deliver a step change in Value Stream performance.

Many of us, have since found that Value Stream Mapping is a critical method for helping reduce customer lead time or processing time, and:

  • Reduces unnecessary use of resources
  • Reduces waiting time, delays, rework & the build-up of outstanding tasks, customers or inventory
  • It focuses greater attention on efficiency, actual hands-on processing time & freeing up capacity

By identifying the current condition, taking a snap shot of the work, information flow and non-value added activity we then develop a future state plan that addresses key problems and helps us deliver what the customer wants, when they want it, at the right quality and price.

Common Problems

There are however, several common problems that many struggle with:

  • Firstly, many organisations mainly focus on improving just one area of the business and don’t realise that they have as many as four primary processes or Value Streams that all need to be improved otherwise they will lose out to the competition (Sales, New Product Development, Operations & Aftersales (five if you also include Supply Chain).
  • A step change in performance means different things to different people, while some managers are content with achieving 3,4,5 or even 6% improvement, I am not, I am talking about 30%, 40%, 50% or more and really delivering an increase in value.
  • In addition to the first two points, most organisations struggle to navigate a number of common pitfalls whilst Value Stream Mapping
    • They don’t yet have the technical capability to effectively navigate the team through the four phases of Value Stream Mapping (project preparation to VS transformation).
    • Management routines and behaviour are not refined to help support the transformation and sustain Value Stream improvement.
    • Mindset, many senior management don’t understand that time spent understanding the Value Stream using VSM will lead to a better understanding of what is really going on and them making better operational and strategic decisions. Also, Value Stream transformation takes a huge effort to fully deliver the future state and management have a critical role in ensuring that the change does not run out of steam and is delivered quickly, effectively and is sustained.

Common Pitfails

  • Only developing current state map
  • Creation of the future state map/ ideal state
  • Overshooting time, resources, budget
  • Not having a clear definition of the scope
  • Scope creep
  • Developing accurate and realistic future states
  • Linkages between current, future state & improvement plans
  • Quantifying improvement projects
  • Resistance and reaction to report outs
  • Mapping the wrong Value Stream
  • Not knowing when to decouple processes
  • Keeping the team on the same level during the value stream map
  • Keeping team focussed on what needs to be achieved
  • Lack of available data
  • Jumping to solution & treating improvement actions as solutions
  • Running out of steam and not completing improvement actions
  • To many improvement actions

Workshop Introduction

The Lean Enterprise Academy have therefore teamed up with our friends at GE Power Services, Service Centre in Rugby, to hold a practical public workshop where attendees will learn to practise Value Stream Mapping on a working value stream. Participants will develop their technical capability by learning about the process for identifying, mapping and improving value streams and will get to practice on and discuss mapping obstacles as they occur. They will also learn about some of the common pitfalls and potential countermeasures in-order to improve the effectiveness of their own future VSM exercises.

This workshop combines lessons and insights from learning to see with hands on mapping, where each participant will have a key part to play in developing the future state improvement plan.

GE Power Services, Service Centre in Rugby are leaders in providing repair solutions and spare parts for steam turbines to the power industry world-wide. The product & equipment is very large, can be slow moving and the work very technical. This provides attendees of the Value Stream Mapping workshop with some challenges as the work contains a high mix of variability, refurb, service tasks and flow or performance are not obvious. The facility, formerly Alstom Power started its Lean journey a number of years ago and is still in the early stages of their Lean transformation, and like many other business they employed a Lean leader and conducted a number of improvement activities.

Aims & Objectives

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the lessons and insights from “Learning to See” with a real practical exercise of Value Stream Mapping on a working value stream to:

  • Learn about the organisations Lean approach
  • Understand the process of Value Stream Mapping on a real working value stream
  • Understand the common pitfalls & possible countermeasures to delivering effective value stream transformation
  • Learn how to identify a product family
  • Learn how to see the entire value stream for a product family.
  • Learn how to develop a current state map of the value stream
  • Learn to see, identify and eliminate waste
  • Understand the difference between value stream and point improvement
  • Learn ‘What Makes a Value Stream Lean’ using the 8 point criteria
  • Design a future state map
  • Develop a future state implementation plan to achieve immediate breakthrough results.

* Due to the nature of this workshop, it is advised that you book early as the number of workshop attendees is restricted and final approval will be required from GE Power Services prior to visiting the facility.
**Also, PPE will be required in the form of safety shoes and glasses.


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