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Lean Enterprise Institute, Incorporated
Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA / Edition 1

Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA / Edition 1

by Mike Rother
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Senior experts within the Toyota Production System often draw simple maps when on the shop floor. These maps show the current physical flow of a product family and the information flow for that product family as the wind through a complex facility making many products. Much more important, these simple maps - often drawn on scrap paper - show where steps can be eliminated, flows smoothed, and pull systems introduced in order to create a truly lean value stream for each product family. In 1998 John Shook and Mike Rother of the University of Michigan wrote down Toyota's mapping methodology for the first time in Learning to See. This simple tool makes it possible for you to see through the clutter of a complex plant. You'll soon be able to identify all of the processing steps along the path from raw materials to finished goods for each product and all of the information flows going back from the customer through the plant and upstream to suppliers. In plain language and with detailed drawings, this workbook explains everything you will need to create accurate current state and future state maps for each of your product families and then to turn the current state into the future state rapidly and sustainably

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780966784305
Publisher: Lean Enterprise Institute, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/01/1999
Series: Lean Enterprise Institute Ser.
Edition description: EDITION 1.2
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 73,354
Product dimensions: 9.00(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Mike Rother began his career in the manufacturing division of Thyssen AG and has spent 10 years learning to apply lean practices through consulting at several different companies-both large and small. Mike also teaches at the University of Michigan, Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering, and studies Toyota. He finds there is always another level of lean to practice and understand.

John Shook learned about lean while working for 10 years with Toyota, helping that company transfer its production, engineering, and management systems from Japan to its overseas affiliates and suppliers. He now splits his time between directing the University of Michigan, Japan Technology Management Program, and working with companies to understand and implement lean manufacturing. And he is ever studying and learning about lean.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Jim Womack & Dan Jones
Part I: Getting Started
What is Value Stream Mapping?
Material and Information Flow
Selecting a Product Family
The Value Stream Manager
Using the Mapping Tool

Part II: The Current-State Map
Drawing the Current-State Map
Your Turn

Part III: What Makes a Value Stream Lean?
Characteristics of a Lean Value Stream

Part IV: The Future-State Map
Drawing the Future-State Map
Your Turn

Part V: Achieving the Future State
Breaking Implementation Into Steps
The Value Stream Plan
Value Stream Improvement is Management's Job
Appendix A: Mapping Icons (also inside back cover)
Appendix B: Current-State Map For TWI Industries
Appendix C: Future-State Map For TWI Industries


We have discovered an amazing thing. While so many of us have been scratching our heads trying to figure out why the road to lean has been rockier than it should be, a vital yet simple tool that can help us make real progress toward becoming lean has been right under our noses.

One of us, Mike, had long searched for a means to tie together lean concepts and techniques, which seemed more disparate than they should be, as he worked on many plant floor implementation efforts. Mike noticed the mapping method while studying Toyota's lean implementation practices. He realized mapping had potential far beyond its usual usage, formalized the tool, and built a training method around it that has proved extraordinarily successful.

The other of us, John, has known about the "tool" for over ten years, but never thought of it as important in its own right. As John worked with Toyota, mapping was almost an afterthought-a simple means of communication used by individuals who learn their craft through hands-on experience.

At Toyota, the method-called "Value Stream Mapping" in this workbook -is known as "Material and Information Flow Mapping." It isn't used as a training method, or as a means to "Learn to See." It is used by Toyota Production System practitioners to depict current and future, or "ideal" states in the process of developing implementation plans to install lean systems. At Toyota, while the phrase "value stream" is rarely heard, infinite attention is given to establishing flow, eliminating waste, and adding value. Toyota people learn about three flows in manufacturing: the flows of material, information, and people/ process. The Value Stream Mapping method presented herecovers the first two of these flows, and is based on the Material and Information Flow Maps used by Toyota.

Like many others in recent years, we were struggling to find ways to help manufacturers think of flow instead of discrete production processes and to implement lean systems instead of isolated process improvements. We struggled to help manufacturers make lasting, systematic improvements that would not only remove wastes, but also the sources of the wastes so that they would never come back. For those who simply give the mapping tool a try, we have been pleased to see how exceptionally effective the tool has proved to be in focusing attention on flow and helping them to see. Now we present it to you.

Mike Rother and John Shook
Ann Arbor, Michigan
May 1998

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