I was reading a post on the eXtreme Programming User Group of a real guru: Kent Beck.
He was talking about a concept very common in Lean Manufacturing called: Values Stream Mapping.
The basic, and apparently easy, idea is to split the process, assign a cost to every part and have a look those parts that ADD VALUE.
Let’s have a look at standard HW purchasing requests in a typical company:
- the user issue is request
- the request is received by the IT dept and evaluated against standards, budget availability, … (30 minutes)
- the request is issued in the ERP system (5 minutes)
- the purchasing dept does its job (2 weeks)
- the supplier receives the request and does his processing (30 minutes)
- … waiting for other orders + parts + come grouping … (3 weeks)
- shipping (2 days)
- our company receive the piece of HW and store it in the warehouse (30 minutes)
- … waiting for schedule … (2 weeks)
- installation and deploy (3 hours)
So what, the value that we add to this process, that’s (part of) the installation and deploy (3 hours), is around 1% of the entire process (weeks …).
It’s wonderful, almost easy to do (may be not in a perfect way but you can get the big picture), and I guess that often it will point to something that are not under our control. Anyway .. it’s good to know it.