Thanks to everyone who left comments on the last post, Learning to See in 2023. You are making me think.
Although Learning to See (the book) describes building your value stream map on A3 / 11×17 paper, most of the maps I have seen have been large affairs on a wall.
I like this approach because it shifts people into the position of standing side-by-side talking about what is in front of them, which fosters collaboration.
The question in the title, though, is more about whose wall is it? Who sees this every day, who is standing and talking about the current state, the future state, and steps to close the gap between them?
I usually see these in the Continuous Improvement team’s workspace. That was certainly the case for the one in the photo. Sometimes they would bring management into that room to discuss progress, but all too often that became a report-out to the managers.
And right there we have an interesting situation: The Continuous Improvement Director and his team have a much deeper understanding of what was going on than the people in charge.
This was partly because it was the Continuous Improvement team members who made these maps in the first place. And they were the ones tracking the metrics, including quality, productivity. They were the ones identifying the problems, and they were the ones working to solve the problems.
And they were the ones complaining when things eroded because management “wasn’t supporting the changes.”
What’s the problem here? What were they actually expecting the line leaders to do?
As a Continuous Improvement team (and if you are reading this, that is likely you), your ultimate goal is to enable the line leaders by engaging through them rather than engaging for them.
You likely have to get there step-by-step, with successive target conditions, but it is the level of engagement of those leaders, and their growing competency in doing so that you and your C.I. team should be tracking on your walls.
Think about what that would look like.