The Second Edition of “The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Office and Services” -- Why Is It Needed?

It has been 10 years since the publication of the award-winning, best-selling book called The Complete Lean Enterprise: Value Stream Mapping for Office and Services. This book brought value stream mapping and Lean thinking out of the factory and into office and service environments in all industries. The authors, Beau Keyte and Drew Locher, have just published a second edition of this book, and I recently asked them: “Why is a second edition of this book needed?” Here is Drew Locher's complete response:

During this time, my co-author, Beau Keyte, and I have continued to deeply learn about the application of this powerful methodology in our work with a wide variety of organizations and industries, including financial institutions, healthcare, hospitality, the “back office” in manufacturers, and engineering firms. Beyond the “mechanics” of the use of the tool, we have come to better appreciate the “social” benefits of the approach to any organization. The second edition represents our collective experiences over during those 10 years and captures many key lessons.

The collaboration that the methodology ignites between departments and functions (that have traditionally not worked effectively together) is nothing short of stunning in most cases. Through the process, they learn from each other, develop a common vision going forward, and form a true team that is critical to the successful implementation of the "future state" that provides breakthrough results for their organization. In addition, we learned many other success factors. For example, it is not solely the objective to implement the tools and techniques envisioned in the future state that fundamentally change the way work is processed and flows -- a new way to manage the value stream is needed. Only then will sustainable change occur and continuous improvement be practiced beyond the first future state – the true objective of Lean Thinking.

The new content includes an entire chapter dedicated to the “management process,” and “learning your way to the future state.” In addition, during the past 10 years, we have observed many individuals and organizations practice their own use of the methodology, often with mixed results. Most commonly, we have seen current state maps without proper future state designs. Value stream mapping should result in radical improvement resulting in significant improvement in key metrics; greater than 50% reduction in lead time, up to 90% improvement in information or service quality, and the like. Very often, however, the projected results are modest and represent incremental improvement. Other times the future state is nothing more than the current state with up to 100 ideas for improvement noted. Long “to-do” lists are created and responsibilities and dates assigned. This represents a “waste war" or a ”drive-by kaizen” approach rather than the thoughtful redesign of the value stream based on the key principles of Lean that will achieve the aforementioned breakthrough results.

We have honed our messaging and teaching with regard to future state design in the second edition. The future state questions have been revised and applied to a new case study so the reader will find them easier to put into actual practice.

We feel that even seasoned practitioners will benefit from the second edition if they are open to honing their skills in the powerful value stream mapping methodology. And for those who are new to the subject, here is the opportunity to learn the current thinking from the original leaders on the application of value stream mapping and Lean to office and services. 

What do readers of this book think? Do you feel the second edition of this book is a welcome addition to the Lean literature currently available?