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Do Two Things before starting your Transformation Project

Considering a business transformation project? Before you invest in an expensive, technology-led transformation effort, consider first the low cost, high-return approach of using lean to transform your enterprise.

Not quite sure where to begin? Here are two suggestions:

  1. Define your company’s value streams

  2. Standardize work to deliver value to your customers consistently

Defining Your Company’s Value Stream

In its simplest form, a value stream is the sum of all the actions required to transform a customer request into a good or service. Companies can have one single value stream, or depending on their product or service offerings, they can have many. 

For companies that make products, value streams are clearly identifiable: they represent the process steps and machinery on the factory floor where material is transformed into a finished good.  For example, for a company that manufactures hammers, some of the steps in the value stream would consist of:

  1. Designing the hammer

  2. Gathering and prepping the raw materials

  3. Forming the head

  4. Heat treating the head

  5. Forming the handle

  6. Assembling the hammer

For service companies, the value stream is a little less obvious. For example, a bank’s value stream for providing a loan product to a customer would consist of:



Credit Check




In both examples, the value stream represents a series of high level steps that, when put together, result in a product or service your customer will pay for. When uncertain whether to include a process in your value stream, ask yourself this question: would my customer get value out of this step? Often asking this question is enough to determine whether it should be omitted.

Standardizing Work

Once you have defined your company’s value stream you can begin standardizing how you consistently deliver value. In this regard, creating standard work is often a two-step process. First model out how work is currently being done. Next, eliminate wherever possible non-value added steps such as:

Over processing


Unnecessary Transportation

Excessive Inventory

Unnecessary Movement

Unnecessary Waiting


Finding and eliminating these 7 types of waste alone can tremendously improve operations by helping you move faster, reduce errors, and free up working capital. However, when combined with standard work, your improvements can scale.

After undertaking these two low cost initiatives your enterprise will be on firm footing to begin a technology-based transformation project.

For example, by knowing what your value streams are, and defining the standard way to deliver value, you will eliminate much of the upfront costs associated with the blueprinting phase of installing or configuring a software solution.  

At OpEx Digital Consulting, we believe in the disruptive power of technology to help companies deliver customer value. But we also firmly believe that enterprise transformation can be achieved by changing how employees work together.

For more information about our approach to consulting or our service offerings, please email ContactUs@opexdigital.com or email me directly at  jassir@opexdigital.com.

©2019 by OpEx Digital Consulting LLC.