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I worked at a company where we spent 3 weeks value-mapping all of our IT processes, but nothing came out of it. What do you recommend to actually implement these changes?

It sounds like participants didn’t see the value. That is too bad, but among new learners it can be common.

First, if there weren’t any discoveries on process opportunities as a result of the Value Stream Mapping, I would have a lot of questions about how the Value Stream Map was created. Did one person create the map by himself? Did folks walk the process together first?

Second, I can’t tell you what to implement without seeing the Value Stream Map. While the map is being developed and after it is completed, the teams should use the Value Stream Map to analyze process opportunities, confirm root causes, brainstorm ideas to implement, and design a future state map. As a next step, follow up with the group or facilitator who did theValue Stream Maps, what do they see as next steps?

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.