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STAGE 0: Introduction to the Program

2.4 Document Processes [STREAM*]

Create a comprehensive list of all processes in Target Area. Make sure that the entire MMLD team has a clear definition of what a process is and is not. These processes should correlate closely with the Current State Value Stream Map that you created in the Master Plan section of the roadmap, i.e. the processes should be the same.

Note that there is a column titled M/L. Use this it identify if the work done in the process is performed by a machine (M), a labor resource (L) or both (M/L).

These process names will be used to create Process Flow Diagrams, and you may discover processes that you overlooked when you do that. Simply add them to your list. Be consistent with your naming conventions, so that you don’t end up with the same process with two different names, even if the spelling is a little different. This will be especially important when you build a simulation model where consistency in naming conventions is important.

The term “process” is another way of saying “work”. Our definition of the term is:

A process is a collection of sequential steps of like work performed by people, machines or a combination of both, at a constant volume.

When you walk through a physical area to create your Process Flow Diagrams or Value Stream Maps, you organize work into logical groupings. The work within a group will be the same type (assembly, testing, analysis, design, inspection) and occur within the same physical area. Work that is moved from one physical area to another, or one building to another, will incur some move time and queue time.

The second part of our definition, at a constant volume, requires some clarification. When designing a production line or an office cell, it is important to have a capacity goal or target that you are designing for, as discussed in the upcoming chapter Demand and Takt Time. The demand for each process takes into account scrap and rework, quantity consumed, differing work times and options. The rule is that for design purposes, a process can only have one demand or volume, the sum of a mix of products. If the volume changes within a process, this will define where one process ends and another one begins.

Being able to define a process correctly is absolutely necessary, to achieve the right level of detail when you create your Value Stream Maps or Process Flow Diagrams. Think of the analogy of flying in a plane and surveying the land beneath. If you fly too low, you’ll be too close, or see too much detail. Your Process Flow Diagram or Value Stream Map would be very complex and unwieldy. If you fly too high, you won’t see enough detail. In this case your Process Flow Diagram could be technically correct, but practically useless and not detailed enough. The definition of a process, as discussed above, achieves the right level of detail.

Objective: Document all of the processes that will be used to build your Process Flow Matrix.
Key Result: Complete the worksheet in the Line Design Workbook with a row for each process.