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STAGE 0: INTRODUCTION AND ORIENTATION
STAGE 1: LOAD
STAGE 2: INVENTORY
STAGE 3: NAVIGATE
STAGE 4: KEEP
STAGE 5: EXTEND
STAGE 6: DEVELOP

1.3 Start Continuous Improvement Database [LINKED]

1.3 Document and organize the opportunities for improvement identified during the VSM. The suggestions for improvement identified during the VSM activity must be documented, organized, prioritized, and made available to the Teams.

In the classical Value Stream Mapping methodology a team will create a “Current State VSM” documenting a work flow as it is done currently (before improvements). We like to use the expression “warts and all” to describe the goal of an honest look at how things are done today. Step 2 in the VSM process is then to look for opportunities for improvement, documenting them on the flow chart itself as “Kaizen Bursts”.

In the LINKED program we have already documented the Current State in the previous task. It is then appropriate and useful to examine the Current State with an eye for improvement opportunities or weaknesses in the current material delivery flow. Look for “pain points” that currently exist and that your material flow staff experience often. It is not necessary to have a solution to these pain points yet, but at least document their existence and where they occur in the flow.

The term “database” sounds more daunting than it is. Our process improvement database can be a sheet in our Master Plan workbook as a simple list. If your company has a more formal process improvement system that could also be used. The main goal is to create a list of potential improvements that the team can refer to periodically, so that at the end of the program we will have addressed all or most of them.