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Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA [Spiral-bound]

Mike Rother , John Shook , Jim Womack , Dan Jones
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1, 1999 0966784308 978-0966784305 Spi
Much more important, these simple maps - often drawn on scrap paper - showed where steps could be eliminated, flows smoothed, and pull systems introduced in order to create a truly lean value stream for each product family.

In 1998 John teamed with Mike Rother of the University of Michigan to write down Toyota's mapping methodology for the first time in Learning to See. This simple tool makes it possible for you to see through the clutter of a complex plant. You'll soon be able to identify all of the processing steps along the path from raw materials to finished goods for each product and all of the information flows going back from the customer through the plant and upstream to suppliers. With this knowledge in hand it is much easier to envision a "future state" for each product family in which wasteful actions are eliminated and production can be pulled smoothly ahead by the customer.

In plain language and with detailed drawings, this workbook explains everything you will need to know to create accurate current-state and future- state maps for each of your product families and then to turn the current state into the future state rapidly and sustainably.

In Learning to See you will find:

  • A foreword by Jim Womack and Dan Jones explaining the need for this tool.
  • An introduction by Mike Rother and John Shook describing how they discovered the mapping tool in their study of Toyota.
  • Guidance on identifying your product families.
  • A detailed explanation of how to draw a current-state map.
  • A practice case permitting you to draw a current-state map on your own, with feedback from Mike and John in the appendix on how you did.
  • A detailed explanation of how to draw a future-state map.
  • A second practice case permitting you to draw a future-state map, with "the answer" provided in the appendix.
  • Guidance on how to designate a manager for each value stream.
  • Advice on breaking implementation into easy steps.
  • An explanation of how to use the yearly value stream plan to guide each product family through successive future states.

More than 50,000 copies of Learning to See have been sold in the past two years. Readers from across the world report that value stream mapping has been an invaluable tool to start their lean transformation and to make the best use of kaizen events.

Product Details

  • Spiral-bound: 102 pages
  • Publisher: Lean Enterprise Institute; Spi edition (June 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966784308
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966784305
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Do It... February 27, 2004
I have completely worn out my copy of this book. It is the simplest, clearest, most practical book on lean that you will ever find. The first time I used the Value Stream Mapping techniques outlined in this book, I identified an improvement that has dramatically reduced our inventory, reduced lead times and saved over $500K annually.
Section III, entitled, "What Makes A value Stream Lean" is especially helpful. By doing the mapping and working toward the seven guidelines outlined in this section, we have made dramatic progress in our lean transformation. Using "Learning To See" in conjunction with another offering from the Lean Enterprise Institute ("Making Material Flow"), you can transform your plant. The only other requirement... get out from behind your desk and just do it!
I cannot recommend this book highly enough!
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to value stream mapping February 8, 2001
By A Customer
The book is a good attempt at explaining how to use value stream mapping in a manufacturing plant. The format is sort like a workbook which makes it a little easier to use and also great as a teaching tool. What is lacking is more examples from a wide variety of industries from small to large so the reader can really understand how to apply the tool to their workplace. There is also a lack of application to areas outside of manufacturing where I think VSM could be applied: product design process and administrative processes. Overall it seems to be a good book, but you'll need some backup material from the web to round our your education on the subject.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning To See December 11, 2001
By A Customer
Learning to see is very helpful if you want to learn to establish value stream maps of your key processes. The book is set up like a work book and walks you through the process step by step. J. Womack is very prescriptive in how to produce value stream maps. It would be helpful to have additional examples from several industries. Value stream mapping is useful in helping to indentify areas that need improvement projects. They should be the basis for strategic plans for process improvement. This book will be helpful if you are new or trying to introduce others to the importance of value stream mapping.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So you want to learn how to map the value stream? November 22, 2004
This is definitely THE starter book to learn vsm. Yes more examples would help, and yes so much information is covered by such little prose. The more I learn and practice lean, The more I am convinced of the importance in using value stream mapping to insure that the lean implementation process benefits the value stream (the so called critical path of the production process).
This key concept is where Six Sigma fails, and that is how do you select a Six Sigma Project that is going to impact the value stream?
The authors almost dare you to work through the ONE example you are to analyze on your own but LEARNING TO SEE starts you on the way to becoming a lean sensei.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Customer Review August 16, 2004
This book is written just like a book on lean manufacturing should be: short, to the point, and no crap. It's very informative, easy to read, a no academic wishy-washy stuff. A great buy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Kasey
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
I have read this great book from the company's library and I love it, but when i decided to buy the book from Quality7 or Trebronics, Inc. they did not not deliver the book. I have been waiting for 3 months. Please do not buy any book from Quality 7. thanks
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Learning to draw valuestream diagrams! October 22, 2006
Book info : 3rd edition published in 2003.

Pre required knowledge: SMED, Continuous Flow Manufacturing

Purchased price : USD 17,50

This book is a workbook, it does not handle a lot of theoretical stuff on LEAN. Also it relies on SMED and Continuous flow manufacturing and KANBAN, so if you're not familiar with that, you will need to do some reading on those topics as well.

Basically this book gives you a technique how do draw you current value stream with all the necessary details. Next it explains how to draw your future value stream and what to do to get there (on paper and on the shop floor). Be careful it does not say how to get there

The book is not very complicated and the way it is explained every fool can do the trick. What I found pity was that the majority of the book goes on the production process. It does not say a lot on the office value stream. Still, I can recommend this book to everybody that is looking for a practical starter on LEAN.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Value Stream Maps October 4, 2009
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
An excellent reference for commercial application of value stream mapping in a production environment. Would have liked to see more material on transactional (paperwork) or service environments.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand
Easy to understand verbiage and pictorials. This book takes the beginning Value Stream Mapper through a step by step training of the tool.
Published 11 days ago by Jimbo10
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of hard to interpret.
Fortunately, this book works well with many computer programs that help identify value streams in manufacturing processes. Read more
Published 18 days ago by No Name Given
5.0 out of 5 stars Really a good reference book
John Shook is an expert. This book makes it easy to develop value stream maps and optimize them to lean out a process.
Published 2 months ago by Art
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
It is an excellent book.
It is very easy to read and comprehensive.
I like it, I recommend this book.
Published 2 months ago by Motrin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Way to see the Value Stream
This book lays the foundation for learning how to map value streams in an industrial environment. Goes through examples and gives exercises to help understand the process.
Published 3 months ago by StudentReview
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book for VSM
This is basically very good book to have. This book was little used but still its ok to have for learning mode. Thank you.
Published 4 months ago by Pravinkumar Korat
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
If you work in manufacturing, I feel this is a must read. I come from an aerospace manufacturing background and this has given me some aid in time/money savings and help create... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ken Kucinski
5.0 out of 5 stars Great value stream mapping principles, and manufacturing specific...
This book works with mostly manufacturing examples, but the examples are great. The practice exercises are nice too. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Angela J Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tool for ptoblem solving
VSM allows me to see the business from a different perspective, great tool to identify opportunities for improvement without loosing focus
Published 10 months ago by VMAJ2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
Good Basic book for introduction or refresher course on lean mfg. Good overview of terms and concepts for lean mfg.
Published 15 months ago by Robert Taylor
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