In what kind of process Makigami can be applied?

Makigami Process Analysis can be applied to ANY business process.
In fact it is basically a more structured VSM than the in the Western world commonly used Value Stream Map.
It is designed to be used on non-visual processes (like in an office).

In a factory one can walk through the process, make observations and count stock, WIP, cycle-times etc.; in an office many things need to be simulated or grasped form in-direct observations or interviews.

To comfort this process of visualizing an invisible process, the Makigami supports and guides.

Makigami can be applied on all kind of levels; Some examples

  • Inter company transfers between companies in a multinational
  • Processes going through several divisions or departments
  • Processes within a department
  • Processes within a group of people.

I would suggest to use it to the extend where several people are involved; in other words where transfers occur between several parties.

If you would like to dive deeper and analyse the process on the level of óne ‘desk’, I would suggest to use the Process Structure Diagram (PSD)

More info on PSD:

I also use Makigami as the tool for classical VSM analyses in factories, to gain a process oriented view. In the beginning this ‘feels’ strange because the team usually is not acquainted to ‘think in process-flows’, but once taken this hurdle, it helps enormous to see where the flow has its obstacles!

Resilience Design

What are Resilient processes and systems?

Resilience processes accept that real Life is never ‘standard’. External factors will always try to destabilize whatever is going on right now. Whether it is the supply-chain, the internal logistic flow, the quality parameters of our product or the safety of our customer, our personnel; anything that can go wrong will go wrong, even when that is never supposed to be.

So if disturbance is a given; what does that mean for the design of a process?

It means the process should be able to cope with that! It should either avoid, or shield the negative influence, or it should be able to absorb it and to automatically return to its normal state.

a resilience system is self centering
a resilient system:

Absorbing destabilizing energy and naturally moving back to its normal state. This last mechanism is called ‘resilience’. Like a punch ball, no matter how hard you punch it, it will always return to its center point, waiting to be punched again.
So in stead of assuming our processes are basically safe or stable, in a safe and stable world, we rather assume things will try to happen, but we do not want them to destabilize our system. What ever happens, the system will never go out of control, and will have a natural tendency to re-center.
This goes beyond the traditional ‘Poke Yoka’ concepts (it CAN not go wrong); here we assume ‘Even if It WILL go wrong it will not escalate and will correct automatically, as a natural behaviour’.
Well designed kanban-systems have this natural tendency –within a certain range- to absorb deviant situations and as a natural behavior return to its normal state. In the contrary we see the effect of push systems. A constant energy is needed to keep them going. Its natural behavior is to drop dead, to go out of control.

Read Monozukuri Kata to find out how to create resilience organisations

Business Process Reengineering (BPR)

What is Business Process Reengineering (BPR):

Reengineering is about radical change. Business process reengineering (BPR) differs from continuous (incremental) improvement programs that place emphasis on small, gradual changes, of which the object is to improve on what an organization is already doing. It is not about ‘ Kaizen’ (small steps) but about ‘ Kaikaku’  (break-through improvement) in more or less the same way as Makigami is. In the traditionally incremental change to improve business performance, typically one of several forms are taken, e.g., quality (total quality management), automation, reorganization, downsizing, and rightsizing. In contrast, BPR is:

  1. Not just automation, although it often uses technology in creative and innovation ways.
  2. Not just reorganization, although it almost always requires organizational change.
  3. Not just downsizing, although it usually improves productivity.
  4. Not just quality, although it is almost always focused on customer satisfaction and processes that support it.

BPR is a balanced approach that may contain elements of more traditional improvement programs with which it is often confused. However, BPR is much more than that.

First, BPR seeks breakthroughs in important measures of performance rather than incremental improvements.

Second, BPR pursues multifaceted improvement goals, including quality, cost, flexibility, and speed, accuracy, and customer satisfaction concurrently. To accomplish these outcomes, BPR, like lean, TPM, Makigami etc.  adopts a process perspective of the business, while other programs retain functional (departmental) perspectives. It also involves a willingness to rethink how work should be done, even if it means totally discarding current practices if that should prove necessary.

BPR also takes a holistic approach to business improvement, leveraging technology and empowering people, which encompasses both the technical aspects of process (technology, standards, procedures, systems, and controls) and other social aspects (organization, staffing, policies, jobs, career paths, and incentives)

(adapted from Manganelli R.L. and Klein M.M., The Reengineering Handbook, 1994).

A magnificent technique to use in such a BPR process is the makigami process analysis.