Creating and Using a Shingo Style Process Map

Presenter: Peter Gaa, Principal Director, Accenture, Boerne, TX, USA

Keywords: Shingo Process Map, Discover & Remove Muda Mura Muri, Increase Quality and Speed

Industry: All Industry Sectors

Level: Intermediate


There are many process mapping styles and books describing these various types … so why bother learning about another process mapping method? Because Shingo-style process maps have advantages over other process mapping approaches:

  • Use on any type of process in offices, factories, retail shops, hospitals, schools, labs, etc.
  • Requires little or no data. You just need to know the flow from input to output.
  • Shows all the moving parts in a process—information, materials, machines, and people—plus how waste, variation, and burdens get created.
  • Allows you to more quickly discover the three main targets for improvement—waste (especially hidden waste), inconsistencies, and burdens. And they help you uncover the root causes of these problems quickly.
  • Links clearly to all the classic Toyota Production System solutions (work standardization, one-piece flow to parallel flow, mistake proofing, resource leveling, setup reduction, pull, etc.).
  • Provides details of a Standard Operating Procedure format leading to ISO 9000 certification.

Another key benefit of Shingo-style maps is improved morale and greater integration of improvements into ongoing work. This happens because they easily reveal the deeper root causes of not just the process waste (Muda) but also the suffering workers experience from variations (mura) and burdens (muri). These insights steer the process improvements to higher level solutions for the workers and not just the process metrics. When the workers, who do the actual work regardless of their education level or experience, make this process map, they use this mapping style to illustrate what life is like for the workers inside the process. This creates process worker ownership of the problems, root causes, and solutions which increases the likelihood that the improvements will be sustained.