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The World’s Leading Conference on Lean Six Sigma Methodologies


How to Unlock OPEX Using the Synergy Between VSM and KM

Industry: Not Industry Specific

Keywords: Value Stream Mapping; Knowledge Management

Level: All Levels


To support operational excellence in your organization, some businesses focus on the practice of value stream mapping (VSM), while others focus on knowledge management (KM) practices. Where is it written that you cannot use both practices to reach your business goals of operational excellence through the synergy of a combined VSM and KM effort?

In this session, you will learn how to use KM during VSM events to support capturing explicit and tacit knowledge, standardizing process documentation, sharing best practices, facilitating collaboration, enabling data-driven decision-making, and sustaining knowledge transfer while mapping the current state to a beneficial future state.

The knowledge gained from the various people, processes, and technologies aimed at capturing, organizing, and leveraging an organization's collective knowledge. With VSM as the visual tool, organizations understand, analyze, and improve their business processes. Together, the team can identify bottlenecks, waste, and non-value-added activities, facilitating process optimization, reduction of cycle times, and overall efficiency improvement. By visualizing the current state and designing a future state, VSM serves as a roadmap for process improvement initiatives, with knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer providing insight and reasoning for why the current state is as it is and what the objectives are of the future state. Knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer is more than just a fact-based approach to mapping the value stream; it also includes the reasoning people make in deciding the processes where individual reasoning may prevent other things that could improve the overall value stream. With KM as a practice meant to be used throughout an organization, using the practices purposefully in VSM events can help to ensure the right personnel are part of the team and that all voices on the team are heard, leading to continual operational excellence.

To sum up, we will:

1)Define knowledge management to start from a solid base of understanding of the practice of knowledge management.

2)Discuss the benefits of knowledge management in the value stream mapping process while learning about KM practices that work with VSM.

3)Discuss how operational excellence relies on the organization's knowledge and note just a few key personnel.


Dr. Cynthia J. Young

Founder/CEO, CJ Young Consulting, LLC, Chesapeake, VA, USA

Dr. Cynthia “Cindy” J. Young is the Founder/CEO of CJ Young Consulting, LLC, a knowledge management consulting firm, and the Tomahawk Mission Planning Center Certification and Training Team Lead with Leidos in Virginia Beach, VA. Over a decade ago, she retired as a Surface Warfare Officer after 23 years in the U.S. Navy, which is where her love for knowledge management began. She holds professional certifications as a Project Management Professional, a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and as an ASQ-Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

Cindy is a past chair of ASQ Tidewater, Section 1128 in Virginia Beach, and has held terms as the Vice-Chair and Secretary. Her doctoral study, Knowledge Management and Innovation on Firm Performance of United States Ship Repair allowed her to gain additional professional and academic expertise to facilitate improvements in organizational knowledge management.

She created the course Knowledge Management Bootcamp®, which she uses to teach and demonstrate how to implement human-centric knowledge management practices into daily personal and professional life. In September 2020, she gave a TEDx Talk called A Knowledge Mindset: What You Know Comes from Where You Sit, which provides actions organizations can take to improve trust and retention using knowledge management practices. Her book, The Knowledge Management Memory Jogger, was published by GOAL/QPC in February 2023.


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