Map Flap

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45-60 mins


  • Pens & paper for all
  • Business team, with shared domain responsibility. For example, the HR department or  Sales team. You can have a mixture so long as there is overlap.


  • Explain some basic workflow/process mapping mechanics and identify the Value Stream.
  • Have each person (or groups of two or three depending on size of the audience) map the Value Stream identified above. Give 15-20 minutes to this activity and encourage discussion.
  • Once completed, post each Value Stream Map on the wall and have all participants compare and contrast their results. There will almost certainly be differences.
  • Then discuss the challenges with optimizing the business process to eliminate Waste (Muda) and improve  Flow(Mura) when there is not a clear and consistent picture of the business process itself. Look for examples in the different maps provided that would lead to inefficient or potentially harmful improvements that might be attempted.

Other helpful hints:

If the maps provided are relatively consistent then the discussion is not warranted and a congratulation on the maturity of the group is all that is needed and you can move on to improving flow, eliminating waste  and mapping future state.

Learning Points:

  • It is not unusual for the people in an operational business unit to have very divergent perspectives of how the operation actually runs. It is particularly pronounced between management and frontline workers.
  • A valid and real perspective of the Process Map is absolutely critical before beginning any discussion about how to improve it.

Posted by Mike McCullough


This game kindly submitted by Angela Hlavka, President, iluminari Inc.
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