Shingo process maps were developed originally to support kaizen events and other improvement events. They can, however, support managed continual improvement along with ISO 9001:2015's requirement (7.5) for documented information; a common role of the traditional process flowchart. The Shingo map can not only document the process, it can identify waste during the planning process (6.1 Actions to Address Risks and Opportunities) and identify waste during operations by using data from operations (9.1, Monitoring, Measuring, Analysis, and Evaluation). The Shingo map is capable of exposing all forms of waste including wasted cycle time, wasted materials and wasted energy.
Poor quality is the only one of the Toyota production system's Seven Wastes that announces its presence. The others are asymptomatic (without symptoms, and this is a good word to remember and teach the workforce), which means we have to look for them actively if we want to find them. Frank Gilbreth proved, for example, that brick laying, as practiced for thousands of years, wasted 64% of the worker's labor by requiring him to bend over to pick up each brick. Nobody had ever thought of doing it differently and, as long as the construction was of good quality, nobody thought to determine whether the job could be done better. 90 percent or even more of the cycle time that work spends in a factory can easily be non-value-adding, and inventory is directly proportional to cycle time. Shingo maps can expose asymptomatic wastes to deliver enormous productivity improvements and cost reductions.
William A. Levinson, P.E., is the principal of Levinson Productivity Systems, P.C. He is an ASQ Fellow, Certified Quality Engineer, Quality Auditor, Quality Manager, Reliability Engineer, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He is also the author of several books on quality, productivity, and management, of which the most recent is The Expanded and Annotated My Life and Work: Henry Ford’s Universal Code for World-Class Success.