June 10, 2020 karynross

Always Start with Customer Needs!

I’ve had a lot of questions and discussion lately about process improvement and value stream mapping. And one thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes, in those discussions, starting from deeply understanding customer needs – what should be happening from the point of view of each of your customers – is missing! It’s easy to get caught up in internal process…what we are doing now…and what would make things easier and better for us! But if those things don’t help get your customer what they want, when they want it, right the first time – flow value to the customer – then they are missing the point! So, when starting to work on an improvement, or creating a value stream map, please first ask yourself: what should be happening for our customers? And then, if you find you don’t know (and most often we really don’t) please ask them! It’s easy to be focused on ourselves, but improving for our customers means starting with – and focusing on – them!

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