Creating a “Future State” Value Stream Map

Previously we outlined what a value stream was and how to find yours in your manufacturing company. Now we will look at what we do with our current state map.

Preparing to Create A Future State

future state value stream map
A Future State Value Stream Map of the Process Shown Above

A “Future State” is what we call the vision we are creating for our company. This process can be challenging as it is often the first time a company had got all of it’s key manufacturing people together to really look at it’s processes and determine a future direction for the company.

As with any important process, preparation is needed; set a side a block of time (4 hours is preferable) when you can have everyone together and no interruptions, (unless the building catches on fire.) Review the current state map and check you have all the information you need on it – we want this future state session to be about creating the future vision, not people running in and out to gather other data.

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Creating Your Future State Map

Working with TXM, you will go through the steps to look at your possible future state. Make sure you list any other ideas or problems that arise. These thoughts are important and need capturing but they can’t be allowed to derail the session. This is where a good facilitator will keep the process in check.

A future state map is only a concept until you have a real plan on how to achieve it. This can be overwhelming when you see all of the things that need doing; so many pieces of the puzzle that need fitting together and it is hard to see where to start. TXM will offer their experience to determine where to begin, as well as Lean tools to analyse your options. From here, smaller projects will be defined to begin implementing your future state.

Displaying your current and future state maps in a prominent place for everyone to see helps to show how each of the smaller projects fit into the bigger manufacturing picture. This is where the communication process of any company is tested; make sure everyone knows what is going on and that change is taking place. Use your Future State Value Stream Map as a constant point of reference.


Timothy McLean

Author: Timothy McLean

Timothy McLean is the Managing Director of TXM Lean Solutions and is an author of Lean books.