Value Stream Mapping

Lean Biomanufacturing, by Dr. Nigel J. Smart

No one company can do it all. It’s nearly impossible to implement every fresh, new research method that enters the market into your company’s regimen. To put it simply, not every method may best fit your company’s overall goals. Understanding this key concept will be invaluable to your research team’s overall operations. Science is ever-changing and although the industry is bursting with excitement, one can get a bit in over their heads with all of the new methodologies and research findings that enter into the market. Utilizing research methods that yield the best results for your company is a major key to success in this industry.

Meet value stream mapping. Isn’t it nice to think of anything in life in its Ideal State? In lean biomanufacturing it’s vital to identify the Ideal State of your process in order to truly hone in on your overall envisioning for your design. After all, a seamstress wouldn’t begin sewing pieces of fabric together without first strategically designing what it is she plans on making. In any process, it’s vital to understand what it is you are trying to achieve first and foremost. In lean biomanufacturing this is called the future state map.

The future state map should identify the condition that is most ideal for your team within your process. Note: You must be able to achieve this condition, or in other words it should be realistically attainable. When it comes to optimizing the value stream map, one must analyze “the map for waste wherever the flow is less than ideal/perfect.”

Asking better questions throughout your research process will help to more easily identify the non-value-added functions and extract it out to produce more immediate results. Evaluating the Current State through value stream mapping and questioning the major steps will be of most benefit to you and your team’s research.

For a more in-depth look at value stream mapping in lean biomanufacturing reference Lean Biomanufacturing, by Dr. Nigel J. Smart.