Focus on the families
Creating the right product groupings makes everything flow better
By Kirk Bolton
Despite the common belief that drawing the current state map is the initial step in value stream mapping, defining true product families actually should take place first when creating a robust flow to support operational excellence. The stakes could not be higher at this early stage of the design process. Failure to execute the “create product families” step typically dooms organizations big and small to many months, if not years, of frustrating attempts to implement flow on the shop floor. Isolated or short-lived successes usually are all that result, even if every other step to design flow is carried out diligently and properly.
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