4 Flowcharting _ Value Stream Mapping

4 Flowcharting _ Value Stream Mapping -...

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FLOWCHARTING and VALUE STREAM MAPPING 4 - 1 Understanding steps in the current process, and which of those steps is valued by the customers, are vitally important to improving that process. Several different types of process map and graphical methods are used to represent different aspects of a process. The terminology is not highly standardized, so it is best to compare your needs with the particular strengths of each type of process mapping. Two of the most commonly used approaches in healthcare are flowcharting and value stream mapping. Flowcharting is described first, then value stream mapping described later. The timeframe and goals include: 1. Timeframe. Flowcharts and value stream are typically used to represent the: a. Current process. b. Ideal process. c. Proposed future process. 2. Goals a. Understand the process. Typically no single individual understands all aspects of the current process. b. Identify problems, issues, or potential improvements within the current process. c. Use the current information to identify ways to improve the process. d. Design a new or improved process. FLOWCHARTING Why Create a Flowchart? Flowcharting is used to show the flow or sequence of events in a process that a person, product, service, or information follows. This tool is useful to identify the current situation that can then be compared to the flowchart of an ideal situation. Flowcharts are also used to show problem areas, redundancy, complexity, and loops in a system that can then be targeted. Industrial engineers should create a flowchart (or many flowcharts of a large system) in order to gain an understanding of that system. An understanding of the entire system is necessary in order to identify problem areas and opportunities for improvement. Creating a flowchart of the system is only the first step in attempting to optimize that system. The analysis of the resulting flowchart is crucial to improvement. Flowcharts are also useful to: 1. Break large systems into manageably sized issues. 2. Allow you to see how different processes within a larger system are related. 3. Help to understand that the product or service that is output by the process is largely determined by the input to the process. 4. Allow you to examine each small process for improvement possibilities. Virtually every time a process is flowcharted in detail, with input from the people who actually do the work, virtually everyone finds something about the process that he/she did not previously know. It is important to talk directly with the people who do the work, not just the supervisor. A supervisor or manager will describe how the system is supposed to work, but may not in fact be what actually happens.
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FLOWCHARTING and VALUE STREAM MAPPING 4 - 2 Determining Customers and Suppliers Before analyzing a process and flowchart, it is imperative to determine who the customers and suppliers are for steps within the process. It also may be helpful to ask certain key questions to be sure that the
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4 Flowcharting _ Value Stream Mapping -...

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