In any organization, there are two types of processes:
- Value Stream
Value Stream processes , along which product or service is being created, involve activities the customer is willing to pay for (or directly goes into the service of the customer) . Generally, such processes convert input into useful output for the customer and should not generate waste. On the other hand, support processes are those that keep the organization in business, efficient, and quality conscious. As the name may suggest, they support the value stream processes.
For example, a business that provides calibration services is likely to have many processes. Here is a list of some of them (a long with type of process):
- Quoting (Support)
- Scheduling (Support)
- Performing calibration service (Value Stream)
- Generating calibration certificates (Value Stream)
- Staff Qualification (Support)
In lean quality management systems, it is best to document such processes separately. This way, value stream maps can be used in analyzing and improving value streams. One of the objective here would be to speed up the flow and reduce lead time for customers. On the other hand, flow diagrams or flowcharts may be utilized to improve the support processes from loop holes, unnecessary redundancies, and other problems.