Video: 5 Lessons on Value Stream Mapping

Earlier this year, I gave my very first webinar in lean six sigma to a group of operations management professionals. I was excited to talk to this group of 70 for two reasons. First, this was my first opportunity to talk about this website outside of a small group of family and friends. I spoke to the Colorado Chapter of APICS, a professional organization for manufacturing, service, and resource managers. My background is in engineering and I was excited to talk to a group outside my field.

Second, this was an opportunity to get back into teaching mode putting my expertise in value stream mapping in use a different way.

Facilitating a VSM project and teaching and talking about facilitator skills are two different tasks. This was my first attempt at the latter and I think it went great. I had a few folks interested enough in signing up for my newsletter after the talk (Three Things for Thursday, go to the bottom of this article to sign up) and a few great questions at the end that challenged my thinking for future speaking engagements.

I've posted the under-an-hour talk down below.

If you want to read about the specific facilitation skills, the talk was based on this blog post.

5 Team-team centered approaches to being a standout facilitator

Briefly, here are the points that I think will make you a standout facilitator for your next VSM improvement project:

  1. Socialize, socialize, socialize!
  2. Be a teacher
  3. Have a clear, well-written charter
  4. Keep your champion engaged
  5. Don't be afraid to change the improvement plan

These are each explained in the video below. Enjoy!


As always, I end my post with different kinds of resources to help you get started (or get better) as you develop your process improvement skills. I hope you find each useful.

  • I've posted a downloadable copy (.pptx) of the slides on

These are links for the four books referenced in my talk.

Finally, the link back to my original blog post titled "The Best Value Stream Mapping Facilitators Think About the Team."

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