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Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate Muda



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Senior experts within the Toyota Production System often draw simple maps when on the shop floor. These maps show the current physical flow of a product family and the information flow for that product family as they wind through a complex facility making many products.

Much more important, these simple maps – often drawn on scrap paper – show where steps can be eliminated, flows smoothed, and pull systems introduced in order to create a truly lean value stream for each product family.

John Shook and Mike Rother of the University of Michigan wrote down Toyota’s mapping methodology for the first time in Learning to See. This simple tool makes it possible for you to see through the clutter of a complex plant. You’ll soon be able to identify all of the processing steps along the path from raw materials to finished goods for each product and all of the information flows going back from the customer through the plant and upstream to suppliers.

In plain language and with detailed drawings, this workbook explains everything you will need to create accurate current state and future state maps for each of your product families and then to turn the current state into the future state rapidly and sustainably.


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