Maintenance Technology May 2015 - 20

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Value-stream maps are rarely fully understood. This
may be because not all organizations realize they
have customers, let alone a value stream.
■

Poor quality

■

Poor efficiency/productivity

■

Poor material movement

■

Poor information flow

■

Poor equipment utilization.

"Flow, measured as lead-time," Kirkpatrick
says, "will only improve when the elements that
prevent it are addressed."

Value-stream mapping
Kirkpatrick points to value-stream mapping as
an effective solution. Many readers understand
how this tool can show the current and future
state of a value stream. Yet, he says, even though
such maps may be used regularly, they are rarely
fully understood by everyone in the organization. This may be because not all functional
organizations realize they have customers, let
alone a value stream.
"It's important to consider all the functions
that make up an organization," Kirkpatrick says.
Since each has a supplier and a customer, each
delivers some value. Most likely, each has waste
that ultimately impedes flow. Unfortunately,
lack of flow within their own value stream is
eventually felt in the product value stream to the
end-user.
How does the CI team
know where to focus its
efforts when they do report
to the correct level of the
organization? According to
Kirkpatrick, "Using valuestream mapping as a tool is
one thing, but having each
group within an organization
using it as the primary form
of CI is world-class."
While that approach may sound

20 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

like a lot of mapping, Kirkpatrick is quick to
note that it's not performed by just one team.
It's performed by "a team of teams led by the CI
group." Instead of functional teams using gut and
intuition or a big list of projects to determine
what to focus on next, they begin to grasp the
idea of using value-stream mapping to manage
where to focus efforts in improving the flow of
their product.

Functional groups
Kirkpatrick offers this quick list of typical
functional groups and possible "products" to
focus on to improve flow:
Human Resources-Employee recruitment
(time required to replace or add employees)
Engineering-Configuration management
(time required to initiate a configuration change)
Business Development-Job estimating (time
required to estimate work for new business)
Maintenance-Mean Time to Repair (time
required to repair equipment)
Quality-Root Cause/Corrective Action (time
required to get to RCCA)
Procurement-Purchased Lead-time (time
required to procure an item)
Operations-Product Lead-time (time
required to produce goods from start to end)
These products can all be considered value.
Each has impediments that adversely affect
flow within each value stream. At this point,
each functional group would be responsible for
showing improvement in flow. As they improve,
so does the overall organization.
According to Kirkpatrick, the process looks
something like this:

1. Continuous Improvement (CI) group reports
to site leadership.

2. CI group is responsible for improving flow
(product lead-time)
a. Primary focus is the flow of customer
product

MAY 2015



Maintenance Technology May 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology May 2015

Maintenance Technology May 2015 - Cover1
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Maintenance Technology May 2015 - 1
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