Beyond the Value Stream

As I mentioned a long time ago, Art Smalley’s web site,, is an excellent resource for learning. His thinking is cutting edge – he has kept up in the field.

I am mentioning it here because he has a couple of really good resources available.

Learning From Toyota is a presentation that challenges some of the conventional thinking about what “lean” is… or better, contrasts the current “lean industry” from Toyota’s thinking and approach.

The Eight Basic Questions of TPS is a longer article on the same topic.

In both cases, Art emphasizes that the classic approach of mapping value streams and implementing flow cover only a very small fraction of what makes up the system. Indeed, in my opinion, those steps will uncover (e.g. confront) many more previously buried problems than they resolve. Yet so many practitioners, many of them even taking your money as consultants, never go beyond these basic steps.

Look at the “classic” questions and Art’s questions, and see for yourself how different the path is.

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