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Guidelines for a Lean Value Stream (from Perfecting Patient Journeys)
Author: Lean Transformations Group
Media Format: Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 1/29/2013

Before you address the problems in your value stream to make it more lean, you’ll find it helpful to have a clear picture of what a truly lean value stream looks like.

A lean value stream exhibits the following characteristics:

  1. The value stream produces precisely what the end customer requires (value), and each process in the value stream produces what the next process requires exactly when it is needed, how it is needed, and how much is needed.
  2. The work flows smoothly through the value stream with no waiting or rework and with the information necessary to perform the work available when it is needed.
  3. Work is standardized so that each step uses the best current method and the best sequence for the process, problems are surfaced quickly and addressed appropriately, and quality of work is confirmed as work occurs.
  4. Regular milestones are established to monitor and evaluate how well the value stream is working, and lessons learned are fed back into the process and into the organization as a whole (i.e., the process itself is managed, not just the people).

Your future-state map will follow guidelines to establish value, flow, work, and management. Translating the guidelines into questions that you and your team collectively answer will help you begin to define your future state. Step through the guidelines and questions provided in order.

Perfecting Patient JourneysPerfecting Patient Journeys, from which these guidelines are taken is taken, is a guide to value-stream improvement for leaders of healthcare organizations who want to implement lean thinking and engage employees in solving problems in order to deliver better and more efficient care. Readers will learn how to identify and select a problem in the performance of a value stream, define a project scope, and create a shared understanding of what's occurring in the value stream. Readers will also learn to develop a shared vision of an improved future, and hopefully work together to make that vision a reality.

Begin from Need
Author: N/A
Media Format: Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 10/28/2010

"Begin from need" is attributed Taiichi Ohno, a key developer of the Toyota Production System. It means, as shown on these charts, what does the customer (the organization, the worker, the gemba) need right now? It's  another way of articulating the principle of PDCA, plan-do-check-act.  It helps us begin problem solving by grasping the situation, and avoid jumping to conclusions.

Shingo Prize Transformation Model
Author: Shingo Prize
Media Format: Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 12/8/2009

A graphic of the Shingo Prize model for principle-centered operational excellence.

The Lean Manager
Author: Michael Ballé and Freddy Ballé
Media Format: Books; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 7/29/2009

For many companies, the most important problem is not doing lean; it is becoming lean. How can they advance beyond realizing isolated gains from deploying lean tools, to fundamentally changing how they operate, think, and learn? In other words, how can companies learn to go beyond lean turnaround to achieve lean transformation?

The Lean Manager, by lean experts Michael and Freddy Ballé, addresses this critical problem. The sequel to the Ballé’s international bestselling business novel The Gold Mine, The Lean Manager tells the compelling story of plant manager Andrew Ward as he goes through the challenging but rewarding journey to becoming a lean manager. Under the guidance of Phil Jenkinson (whose own lean journey was at the core of The Gold Mine), Ward learns to use a deep understanding of lean tools, as well as a technical know-how of his plant’s operations, to foster a lean attitude that sustains continuous improvement. 

Lean Transformations Getting More Emphasis in Recession, says Survey
Author: Marchwinski, Chet
Media Format: Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 4/15/2009

LEI’s e-letter subscribers report that their lean efforts are getting more attention during the recession. The brief online survey was conducted in March 2009.

Landscape Forms Cultivates Lean to Fuel Growth Goals
Author: Tonya Vinas
Media Format: Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 2/11/2009

With single-item orders 80% of the time, adopting single-piece flow and cellular production made sense to management at Landscape Forms, a low-volume, high-mix producer of outdoor furniture in Kalamazoo, MI. Find out how the company continued to spread the lean conversion by taking on the harder challenges of reinventing the production schedule through leveling, implementing lean financial management, and creating culture that embraced change and

Making Lean Leaders -- Ariens internship program develops lean and leadership skills
Author: Taninecz, George
Media Format: Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 12/16/2008
Besides making snow-blowers, mowers, and string trimmers, Ariens Co., of Brillion, WI, makes lean leaders. An internal lean internship program steeps factory and front-office associates in the principles of lean and leadership by connecting the concepts to actual work. Ariens attributes its ability to acquire companies, enter new markets, and remain competitive in tough times to the program, which has helped it grow without dramatic increases in staff.
Lean Thinking in Government: The State of Iowa
Author: David Drickhamer
Media Format: Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 11/19/2008
For several years the Iowa Veterans Home has used lean concepts to improve processes spanning the departments that deliver care to over 700 U.S. military veterans and their spouses. This lean case study looks at a recent kaizen event at the Veterans Home and more broadly at the five-year old lean effort in Iowa government.
Lean Landscapers
Author: George Taninecz
Media Format: Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams
Publish Date: 10/14/2008
HighGrove Partners, an Atlanta landscaping company, needed some time to figure out how to apply lean management principles. After all, each of its 300 work sites is different and changes with the seasons, soil conditions, and weather. But, aided by a lawn mower manufacturer that was pursuing a lean conversion, HighGrove management stuck with its transformation, uncovered repeatable processes among the variability, established standardized work, removed waste, and improved processes and business
Fighting Cancer with Linear Accelerators and Accelerated Processes
Author: Chet Marchwinski
Media Format: Articles; Charts, Graphs and Diagrams; Forms and Templates; Value-Stream Maps
Publish Date: 9/9/2008

A series of cross-functional lean improvement teams in the Radiation Oncology Department at the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) applied lean principles to processes to dramatically increase the percentage of patients with bone or brain metastases receiving consultation, simulation, and first treatment on the same day. (Life Magazine cover from 1958 on radiation oncology.)