Value chain analysis 1

Posted on: April 25, 2016

Categories: Implementation support, Troubleshooting and consultancy, Lean learning, services

The diagram below shows the first stage of a value-chain analysis for the Learning & Development function in a typical organisation - from the point of view of the customer: a worker.

As you look at it (click to enlarge), consider:

  1. Which route allows the smoothest flow of value to the customer?
  2. Which activities provide value to the customer?
  3. Which activities provide no value to the customer?
  4. Which activities provide no value to the customer but are essential?
  5. What activities have we missed out? Where is it over-simplified?
  6. Where are the bottlenecks likely to be?
  7. What would you change?

Value chain map.

This map works on the basis that the “customer” in this case is the “worker” - who’s definition of value is based on being able to do their job better - which could mean quicker, more easily, more efficiently, more accurately etc. (See Dan Pink’s video on what motivates us below)

Someone in the organisation (perhaps the worker, or their manager, or someone else) has identified a performance problem (perhaps in being compliant with policy, or entering data, or selling enough products etc).

So the first step is to work out the root cause of the problem. Is it a problem with the work itself? Is it a problem with the way the work is supported as it’s being done? Or is it a problem with the underlying knowledge, skills & behaviours that are needed from the workers?

The value map then shows the various activities needed to provide the worker with the ability to do the job better.


This post is part of a series in preparation for client-facing workshops on lean learning.

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