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Applying Lean Thinking: Systems and Value Streams

26 pages13 minutes


Everything we do and everything we interact with are individual steps in processes that are part of larger systems. Understanding how to see and identify Waste within each step is important, but you will realize the most effective and productive business transformation when the entire sequence of steps is improved. In addition to identifying each step in a process, it’s important to see the relationship between a step and how it impacts the entire process. We call this sequence of steps a Value Stream. This booklet rolls processes, systems, and Value Streams into one easy to understand process itself. In case you aren't familiar with Systems-Thinking, Systems-Thinking is a way of understanding reality that emphasizes the relationships among a system's parts, rather than the parts themselves. Analyzing processes that constitute Value Streams is also about understanding relationships between all of the interdependent activities within a stream of value-adding steps. There are a number of ways to analyze the interdependencies of processes and process steps and we will introduce you to the more widely used ways through links to a variety of additional resources. Learn how to analyze the interdependencies that exist in your company so you can maximize your existing resources.

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