Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Case History

The Design Review through Obeya and the Value Stream Map

Sharing information to improve production processes
ottimizzazione processi di produzione, Obeya Room, Value Stream Map, Design Review, revisione dei processi


Manufacturing company | 38 M€ turnover | 250 employees


The company

The company, which relied on our consultancy to improve its development and production processes, is a manufacturing company in northern Italy operating in the lighting sector. With 38 M€ turnover and 250 employees, it is a benchmark in the production of lighting systems, especially for public works and buildings. Present in the market for years, it felt the need for a change that would lead it to respond more effectively and competitively to the needs of its customers.


The challenge

The company had developed over the years a really very solid and valuable know-how that, however, struggled to transform into value within the product development process.
Full sharing between different departments was slow and difficult: to achieve operational excellence, integration between business functions had to find new ways to transmit, to the whole structure, the information and knowledge specific to each area.


The solution

We designed an Obeya where to share information and knowledge to create streams of excellence.

The Obeya is a physical place, a room where managers, department heads, and workers can meet to be able to share, through face-to-face discussion, information and expertise when a new project, a new service, or a change in corporate structure is to be developed.

Obeya’s main feature is the use of visual communication, which, in this particular case, was supported by the Value Stream Map, a tool aimed at mapping the product development process (data, actions, materials, roles, and tasks) at each and every step, from the time of design to post-sale. It allows, in other words, to design the perfect project, without bottlenecks, waste, blockages.

From the results obtained through the VSM mapping, the entire design process is analyzed and the design review and control actions are activated.

n fact, the design review phase is aimed at:

  • highlighting the points of value
  • Managing and reducing critical issues
  • standardizing quality


The operational phase


From a self-containing step model to a sharing model for process optimization.”


The first step was devoted to gathering very detailed information about the project through interviews inside the company: only a deep understanding of the reality can lead to a truly targeted consultancy that can produce results.

The second step led to the identification of the project team, which, in the case in hand, consisted of 8 technicians, involved among designers, industrializers, test lab workers and external consultants.

In Obeya, the team was trained and accompanied in the use of the Value Stream Map. By physically drawing the process from top to bottom, the value points were clearly defined, that is, among all the elements or actions that are part of the production process, those that the customer recognizes from an economical point of view.

Also, through work with the VSM, KPIs were chosen , i.e., the parameters through which the effectiveness and efficiency of the design phases and individual processes could be evaluated. Without them, it is impossible to make a judgment and, therefore, how and where to intervene to achieve operational excellence. Visual mapping also makes it possible to predict what to expect in terms of end results.

Made solid, tangible, paper-wise, the Value Stream Map allows the ideal flow of process inputs and outputs to be understood in an immediate way.

Thanks to the data collected and visualized, the design review activity was subsequently able to analyze each and every aspect of the project under development and to highlight critical issues, in order to avoid noticing discrepancies and design errors only at the end (or, at any rate. late).

An overview of the entire flow and management of key parameters, enables alarm bells to be rung and to foresee possible difficulties downstream in the process, when intervening has higher costs and worse results.


The results

The work carried out through the consultancy made it possible to transform the company’s modus operandi from a system that operates by self-contained steps, with no sharing, to a model in which the different departments communicate immediately, at the beginning of the project, about what the important and essential points are.

From an operational point of view, the use of Obeya made it possible to:

  • Improve the design phase by activating the business functions of Production, Quality and Marketing
  • Introduce the customer dimension (internal and external) into the modus operandi of the technical staff
  • Identify precautionary solutions
  • Make both designers and production more accountable
  • Develop a good use of delegation
  • Obtain more consolidated and widespread information
  • Reduce the time to market of new projects


The numerical results obtained

  • 4 new product development projects considered, two of which are nearing completion and two of which are in the launch phase
  • +30% recovery in efficiency, due to fewer revisions on drawings, and on prototypes


Thanks to the Obey Room and the use of the Value Stream Map, it was possible to capture the know-how of each business sector and transform it into greater product value during its development.”


Roberto Malaguti – Partner ŌdeXa


Are you interested in learning more about the topic?


form business case

You might also be interested in