Mapping the Process -- Finding the Waste

Robert Damelio published a second edition of his best selling book The Basics of Process Mapping this year, and I recently spoke with him about it. I asked him: "While you were developing the second edition of your book, which of the most important concepts in your book still often gets misunderstood?" Here is Robert's reply:

One of the most important (and often misunderstood) properties of work is "waste." Those familiar with the cost of poor quality concept often tend to equate “waste” with defects, rework, returns, inspection, appraisal, failure in test or operation, etc. In general these are forms of waste related to work outputs.

It turns out that more forms of waste, and much greater cost are associated with the resources used and applied during a work activity. This is why waste is defined as any work that does not create value as perceived by the customer.

Here is a table from the new edition of Robert's book that illustrates his points:

What do you think of Robert's table? Do you think his definitions and examples are accurate? What are your experiences with process maps? Do they help diagnose and improve work?


Are Team Conflicts Often Part of the Process in Lean Design Projects?

Have any readers been involved in a construction project that applied Lean design techniques ? Most often, the benefits described involve reduced time and waste. This article over on the Construction Digital site discusses the reduction of risk such as "owner changes, constructability changes, incompatible design, rework, budget overruns, misinterpretations, unsafe construction, and project team conflicts." The success of a Lean design project relies heavily on the efficiency of the cross-functional team, which can include architects, construction managers, investors, and consultants. Although it is crucial for this team to in place right from the beginning of the project, I wonder how long it takes the players involved to overcome obstacles in regard to "territory" and autonomy. When these teams are first form, are interpersonal conflicts initially increased? Are personality conflicts and territorial issues greater for a team such as this because of the vastly different perspectives on the project each member brings to the table? Last year, Productivity Press published a book by Gary Santorella titled Lean Culture for the Construction Industry: Building Responsible and Committed Project Teams that touched on these issues.

I'd like to hear from professionals out in the field who have firsthand experience with these teams and if they initially appeared to hasten or hinder a project. The eventual measurable benefits of these teams greatly increases the success of the project, but do these teams cause initial rough spots?