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12th Edition 

January 2012

In This Issue
Waiting Time Waste
Value Stream Mapping - Guidelines and Rules to Making Your VSM Event Successful
Lean Construction Facilitator Training


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Policy Deployment & Lean Implementation Planning

Waiting Time Waste


By Ted Angelo


"Waste" is defined as anything other than the MINIMUM amount of time, equipment, tools, material, parts, people, and space required to ADD VALUE to the product/service/information-data. One of the 8 common construction wastes that require constant attention is Waiting Time.


Examples of Waiting Time waste include:

  • Waiting for information, answers, materials, tools
  • Late arrival of material, equipment, tools
  • Long product/supplier lead times
  • Repairing equipment
  • Not correcting previously discovered problems
  • Waiting for other trade completions
  • Poor coordination with other trades and/or general contractors
  • Delayed decisions
  • Waiting for supervisor to tell you what to do
  • Not understanding the scope of work or instructions
  • Lack of clear communication (not understood; not listening)
  • Not having complete work package of material
  • Not using proper tools
  • Not having a clear work space/area
  • Waiting for others to show up for meetings or classes
  • Not completing action items from previous meetings
  • Not being prepared for meetings
  • Not following up promptly on return phone calls, emails, or messages
  • Waiting for paperwork or material from previous step, or not being ready for it when it arrives.  

 The following are real-life examples of Waiting Time waste: 

  • Crew is sent to job site to balance the air flow, but the work can't be done because the electrical work has not been completed.
  • VAV sheet metal box is not on site when crew needs it or units are arriving sporadically so crews are scrambling to fill in the best they can.
  • Material is missing to complete the job so people have to go back later to finish the work.
  • Other employee's work is held up because they are waiting for information from a coworker before they can finish the rest of the process. 

Every day, people waste time and energy waiting for other people or other things, so it is necessary to make a concerted effort to help reduce or eliminate this waste. One can certainly limit waiting by planning ahead using a Project Schedule that looks many weeks in advance of the required date to complete the task. If a problem/constraint arises while planning the task, it would not be assigned, thus eliminating the "waiting".  


Available in April
Value Stream Mapping
Guidelines and Rules to Make
Your VSM Event Successful

by Larry Rubrich 


Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is the only Lean Construction tool that will not eliminate waste--its sole purpose is to help organizations identify the waste that is preventing them from reaching their organizational goals. Once the waste is identified, the appropriate waste elimination tool can be pulled from the Lean Construction gangbox and deployed to eliminate the waste.


Lean Construction Tools 


Value Stream Mapping creates a one-page picture of a process (although it may be a very large page and take up several walls in a training room), identifying all the steps, sequences, touches, and times. Some organizations start by mapping the "system cycle time"- from the time an owner requests a product or service to the time the owner/customer receives a completed product or service (the RFP process, for example). VSM is most effective at identifying how to improve the "system" efficiency.


VSM Guidelines


Use a VSM Checklist to help you prepare for the event (if you don't have one, send us a note at info@wcmfg.com). From our checklist, here are some items of particular importance: 
  • Determine the resources needed to support owners/customers during the event. The VSM event must be transparent to  customers. 
  • Communicate with the entire organization about the upcoming event. Make sure that everyone knows.
  • Communicate with the worksite/process supervisor(s) (and others who will be impacted) about the event and its objectives. This is a face-to-face meeting, not a memo, an e-mail, or a voice mail.
  • Advise the team members who work in the project area/process about the upcoming event -- again, face-to-face.  Let these people know that their input and their fellow workers' input is crucial while the team is evaluating and changing their process.
  • Arrange lunches for each training day. Invite process decision makers/managers to lunch each day as a way of reviewing VSM direction, ideas, and progress. This prevents any surprise management concerns/objections at the "Event Report Out." 
  • Determine who will be invited to the Event Report Out on the last day of the event. On day one of the event, notify these individuals of the date, time, and location of the report out, even though you may make minor adjustments in the actual starting time on the day before (or morning of) the Report Out.

Team Leader Selection Guidelines

  • Chosen by the VSM Team itself (must be a member of the team - cannot be the Certified Lean Facilitator)
  • Show team the Team Leader responsibilities
  • Secret ballot vote on the last day of the VSM (before the Action Plan is started) 
Assuming you are using a Certified Lean Facilitator (CLF) to do the VSM training and support the drawing of the maps, the VSM team should be allowed to select their own team leader. The rationale is simple--the team will easily take direction from the leader they selected. Since the CLF will handle leadership issues during the event, the Team Leader is selected on the morning of the last day, because their responsibilities start with the creation of the "Action Plan". This additional time (from day one to the morning of the last day) also gives team members an opportunity to evaluate the performance of members of the team they do not know very well. 


Team Leader Responsibilities     
  • Conduct meetings
  • Provide direction
  • Make assignments
  • Perform as full team member
  • Obtain participation from everyone
  • Act as a point of contact (for other teams and the organization's Leadership Team)
  • Ensure team activities are coordinated (no two teams working on the same thing)
  • Offer team members help without taking responsibility
  • Disbands team (with celebration) when all open action items are completed
VSM Rules
There are four steps to Value Stream Mapping: 


Step #1  Pick the product, product family, service, production or administrative process to map (improve).  An improvement goal(s) is required. 


Criteria for Goal Selection: 
  • From Policy Deployment
  • A "new" or a change in an owner/customer requirement or business condition.
Anything else qualifies as random! (Policy Deployment requires no other Lean activities).


Remember, all goals must be SMART goals! Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time dimensioned.   
Step #2 - Create the "Current State" VSM. 


Do not forget about the Office/Information Product cycle times (C/T) and process delays as shown in the VSM below:

VSM Prefabrication


Step #3  - Create the "Future State" VSM. 


The Future State Map must meet the goal(s) established in Step #1 

  • Identify all potential improvements  (kaizen events) via "star bursts" and brainstorming.
  • Normal brainstorming activity:
    • Brainstorm following rules
    • Affinitize like ideas
    • Secret ballot vote for best ideas
    • Go as far down on the "voted for" list as the group thinks is necessary
  • Focus/prioritize on "low cost" or "no cost" improvements that support step #1's goal(s).
  • Verify management support.
  • The "Future State" VSM must meet the goal(s) established in step #1. Forcing the FSVSM to meet the goal generally requires "outside the box thinking". If the initial FSVSM does not meet the goal(s) established in step #1, go further down the brainstorming "voted for" list or  re-brainstorm.

Step #4 -  Develop an Action Plan (Kaizen Newspaper) to make the FSVSM the CSVSM.  

  • The responsibility for completing the Action Plan is always the VSM Team's - this responsibility is never handed-off.
  • The accountable person from the VSM Event Team (the buck stops here) is the "Who." They can recruit other non-VSM Event associates to help do the implementation - but they are responsible.
  • The "When" date is always determined by the "Who" (accountable person) so we can hold them responsible. If it is a safety related issue, it is not given a date or time and must be completed immediately.
  • Team disbands, with celebration, when all open Action Items are completed.
             Action Plan


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Available This Spring!
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This Lean newsletter is the result of the collaboration of three organizations:
Grunau Company
Ted Angelo, Executive Vice President

Quality Support Services, Inc.
Dennis Sowards, President


WCM Associates LLC
Larry Rubrich, President


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  WCM Associates LLC, 2012. All rights reserved.
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