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A company was having challenges with recruiting. It was hard to recruit good people and when they did, they had a huge wait between the offer letter to when the new hire could start with the company. Many times, they would lose someone they hired because some other organization would give the candidate a better offer and hire them while they were in the process with the first company.
Steve the EVP of HR wanted was looking for a solution. He hired Jeff a lean consultant to help them. Jeff hosted a one-day offsite and invited representatives of HR, the technology support team as well as the operations staff so they could see what they can do to streamline the process. In the first hour of the meeting, Jeff introduced the Value Stream Mapping tool to them
Value stream mapping is a lean tool that depicts the flow of information, materials, and work across functional silos with an emphasis on quantifying waste, including time and quality.
In 1940 Toyota adopted using Value stream mapping (VSM), a lean management tool used to visualize, define and optimize various steps involved in getting customer requests fulfilled from start to finish. All they did was look at the timeline from the moment the customer gives an order to the point where they receive payment. This gave them a value stream map, a timeline of major events or items that are adding value, or not adding value from the customer’s standpoint.
If your company makes one product, one value stream map can cover the entire process, most companies have many products. For a complex mix of products or services generally, you would draw a separate map. A good way to start is to pick a single project that represents an average workflow or start with the highest value area. Your average value stream mapping will show where your internal process begins and ends.
The value stream map always begins and ends with a customer. The timeline could be set ideally for:
New product – clock starts no later than the approval of the product concept.
Embedded software – ideally start the clock with the main product and not the software portion. (map from concept to cash)
The clock stops when the solution is successfully launched, deploy, delivered, or solve a customer problem.
Ideally, someone needs to monitor the changes you have decided. Keeping track of this will also speed things up and can also help enforce your new workflow.
To improve the onboarding new hire process, the HR and company support team was able to come up with the company’s value stream map for companies hiring process.
Lead Time = value add time + non-value added (waste) 1505+8280= 9785
process cycle efficiency in % = value add time/ lead time = 1505/9785
Efficiency ratio = 15%
This means 85% of the time is spent on non-value-add activities.
By visualizing and examining the entire process they could easily eliminate things like
Percentage of work/ procedure that is taking time to add value and identify waste.
They were able to identify two areas of improvement.
Efficiency ratio = 76%
At the conclusion at the offsite, they had key takeaways that could streamline the process.
By automating the “equipment order setup process” and ordering the machines right after new hire accepts an offer, they were able to gain the trust of employees and train them at the same time. Value stream mapping not only helped the company improve the recruiting process but also gained happy candidates and employees.
To optimize your flow, we should use value stream mapping for visualzing your product development pipeline, Reduce manual and error prone processes and build a continuous delivery pipeline that automates code integration, builds, tests and deployment. Value stream mapping helps you visualize your current state of your pipeline and gradually improve and automate your delivery pipeline so that from a time a feature is requested to when the customer recieves it is reduced.
Shazia Mirza is a Certified Scrum Master and a Certified Product Owner. She works as a consultant at Concepts and Beyond. She also Facilitates Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) workshops.
The internet and social media are full of Agile, Scrum, Product Management, and DevOps jargon, including incorrect and misunderstood concepts. This could be problematic for a learner seeking knowledge. Without a course with Scrum Alliance, Scrum.org, or DevOps Institute, this knowledge is difficult to achieve.
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I have used value stream mapping , and enjoyed the article – I would however like to understand better how to work through those parts of a process which have both value and waste, and approaches to separating those out.
Thank you Alan, for your valuable feedback. The primary goal is to identify and eliminate waste to make the process as lean as possible.
Break down those pieces further into value and waste. An example of waiting for a build to complete: Value is the build is automated. Waste is it takes too long to complete. The reason is that there are several tests that need to be run for the build to be complete. Google faced this problem. So they coded a test automation strategy to only run the tests in the build where the code could have changed. Please see https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/research.google.com/en//pubs/archive/45861.pdf
This example of a Value Stream Mapping was easy to understand as we have all been involved in the hiring process one way or another.
The calculations behind the efficiency ration was helpful.
I have used VSM in the past. Great to see the application of a VSM outside the software development process.
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I am a very visual learner. This article provided the visualizations I needed to learn the new material. It also showed the benefits of visualizations specifically with VSM and how you can find areas of improvements by simply mapping out your timeline with major milestones with the time and waste items take to complete.