Future-State Map

The Future-State Map

The purpose of value-stream mapping is to highlight sources of waste and eliminate them by implementation of a future-state value steam that can become a reality within a short period of time. The goal is to build a chain of production where the individual processes are linked to their customer(s) either by continuous flow or pull, and each process gets as close as possible to producing only what its customer(s) need when they need it.

A useful aid for helping people draw future-stat maps is the following list of questions.  As we develop our future-state concepts, answer the questions in roughly the following order.

  • What is the takt time, based on the available working time of our downstream processes that are closest to the customer?

  • Will we build to a finished goods supermarket from which the customer pulls,or directly to shipping? (The answer to this question depends on several factor such as customer buying patterns, the reliability of our processes, and the characteristics of our product.  Building directly to shipping will require either a reliable, short-lead-time, order-to-delivery stream, or more safety stock.  Fortunately, our order-to-delivery lead time involves only those processes from the pacemaker process downstream to delivery).

  • Where can we use continuous flow processing?

  • Where will we need to use supermarket pull systems in order to control production of upstream processes?

  • At what single point in the production chain (the “pacemaker process” will we schedule production? (Remember that all material transfers downstream of the pacemaker process need to occur as a flow).

  • How will we level the production mix at the pacemaker process?

  • What increment of work will we consistently release and take away at the pacemaker process?

  • What process improvements will be necessary for the value stream to flow as our future-state design specifies?
  • (This is the place to note any equipment and procedural improvements that will be necessary, such as reducing changeover time or improving machine uptime.