Introducing a strategic perspective in lean thinking applications through system dynamics modelling: the dynamic Value Stream Map

Federico Cosenz, Guido Noto

Risultato della ricerca: Articlepeer review

Abstract

Purpose: Lean Thinking is an operation management discipline which aims to identify, map and analyse the activities forming a process to detect “value waste” and outline the most effective flow of activities to execute in sequence. Process mapping is often developed in lean projects through the use of the Value Stream Map (VSM). Like many other management tools, the VSM adopts a static and non-systemic perspective in the representation of an organizational process. This may result in the implementation of Lean projects inconsistent with the overall organizational long-term strategy, thus leading to dysfunctional performance. In order to overcome this limit, the paper suggests combining VSM with System Dynamics (SD) modelling. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on a review of the literature on VSM. This review is matched with an analysis of SD modelling principles aimed at explaining the practical and theoretical contribution of this approach to operation and strategic management practices. An illustrative case study is then provided to explore the practical implications of the proposed approach. Findings: Our results show that SD modelling provides robust methodological support to VSM and Lean Thinking due to its inner characteristics, namely: simulation, systemic view, explicit link between system structure and behaviour and effective visual representation. Originality/value: This research proposes a novel approach to design VSMs aimed at fostering a strategic perspective in Lean Thinking applications. Such an approach connects two fields of research and practice – i.e. VSM and SD modelling – which have traditionally been kept separated or, at least, partially combined for specific organizational sub-systems, thereby neglecting a broader strategic view of the entire process system.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine22
RivistaBusiness Process Management Journal
Volumeahead-of-print
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)

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