Wine and waste. These terms are not typically “paired” in our house. Wine is rarely wasted in the consumption process (unless you consider unneeded calories, but let’s not go there). But the buying and tasting process . . . must be something there. Or, so I assumed as I was looking for a fun example of value stream mapping for my Lean courses.
Before we “nose” into the wine tasting value stream, let’s first refresh on a couple of key Lean terms:
Waste: Those things that add no value to the final product or service (there are seven – some say eight- types of waste that we’ll discuss later).
Process steps are often categorized into the following:
- Value-add: Simply, those steps that add direct value to final product or service
- Non-value add: Those steps that add NO value to final product or service (waste)
- Business Value-Added steps: Those things that add no value to the final product or service, but still must be done to stay in business.
Think of ordering food at a restaurant. The steps of taking the order and preparing the food would be considered value added (non-waste). But walking the order to the kitchen or steps that include searching for ingredients would be non-value added (waste). This is because they add nothing of value to a quality product as defined by the customer- a tasty, properly prepared meal.
Business Value-add, in the restaurant example, might include delivering and paying for the check. Adhering to some government regulations is another example (e.g. adding sales tax to the check).
Phew, that was enough technical stuff. It must be time for a glass of wine. The colorful chart below is what’s known as a “rainbow value stream map.” It classifies steps by color (value-add is green, non-value add is red, and business value-add is yellow). Now, “pour” through this wine tasting process.
Now, let’s group the steps into the 7 wastes.
Notice the handy acronym, TIMWOOD, for the seven wastes. Also note there are many who add an eighth waste that is known as “People.” This is the act of failing to know and fully use the skills and talents of the people in the organization.
Last, I hoped you observed only about one third of the steps could be considered value-added. This is not unusual. Most processes have lots of opportunities and we need people’s knowledge and talents to fix them. We want to eliminate non-value add and improve and/or reduce business value add. But, just because the box is green, doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. The classification only helps us determine key starting points when improving processes.