Learning to See
(Version 1.4 – published October 2009)
Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award recipient
Value-stream maps are the blueprints for lean transformations and Learning to See is an easy-to-read, step-by-step instruction manual that teaches this valuable tool to anyone, regardless of his or her background.
This groundbreaking workbook, which has introduced the value-stream mapping tool to thousands of people around the world, breaks down the important concepts of value-stream mapping into an easily grasped format. The workbook, a Shingo Research Prize recipient in 1999, is filled with actual maps, as well as engaging diagrams and illustrations.
The value-stream map is a paper-and-pencil representation of every process in the material and information flow, along with key data. It differs significantly from tools such as process mapping or layout diagrams because it includes information flow as well as material flow. Value-stream mapping is an overarching tool that gives managers and executives a picture of the entire production process, both value and non value-creating activities. Rather than taking a haphazard approach to lean implementation, value-stream mapping establishes a direction for the company.
To encourage you to become actively involved in the learning process, Learning to See contains a case study based on a fictional company, Acme Stamping. You begin by mapping the current state of the value stream, looking for all the sources of waste. After identifying the waste, you draw a map of a leaner future state and a value-stream plan to guide implementation and review progress regularly.
Written by two experts with practical experience, Mike Rother and John Shook, the workbook makes complicated concepts simple. It teaches you the reasons for introducing a mapping program and how it fits into a lean conversion.
With this easy-to-use product, a company gets the tool it needs to understand and use value-stream mapping so it can eliminate waste in production processes. Start your lean transformation or accelerate your existing effort with value-stream mapping.
(Don’t forget to order some generous-sized value-stream mapping pads and icon stencils to speed the mapping effort.)
Mike is also a co-author of Creating Continuous Flow: an action guide for managers, engineers and production associates, which received a Shingo prize in 2003. He also co-developed the Training to See kit that teaches facilitators how to run value-stream mapping workshops. His latest book is Toyota Kata (McGraw-Hill). Mike is an engineer, a researcher, teacher, consultant, and speaker on the subjects of management, leadership, improvement, adaptiveness, and change in human organizations. His affiliations have included the Industrial Technology Institute (Ann Arbor), the University of Michigan College of Engineering, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (Stuttgart), and the Technical University Dortmund. Mike began his career in the manufacturing division of Thyssen AG in Germany. He lives in Ann Arbor, MI, and Cologne, Germany.
Shook learned about lean management while working for Toyota for nearly 11 years in Japan and the U.S., helping it transfer production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to NUMMI and subsequently to other operations around the world. While at Toyota’s headquarters, he became the company’s first American kacho (manager) in Japan. In the U.S., Shook joined Toyota’s North American engineering, research and development center in Ann Arbor, MI, as general manager of administration and planning. His last position with Toyota was as senior American manager with the Toyota Supplier Support Center in Lexington, KY, assisting North American companies implement the Toyota Production System. As co-author of Learning to See John helped introduce the world to value-stream mapping. John also co-authored Kaizen Express, a bi-lingual manual of the essential concepts and tools of the Toyota Production System. In his latest book Managing to Learn, he describes the A3 management process at the heart of lean management and leadership.
Shook is an industrial anthropologist with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, and is a graduate of the Japan-America Institute of Management Science. He is the former director of the University of Michigan, Japan Technological Management Program, and faculty of the university’s Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering. Shook also helps companies learn lean management through the Lean Transformations Group, LLC, and the TWI Network, Inc.
Lean Enterprise Institute