What is Makigami?

Makigami refers to a process mapping and analysis technique used in Lean and Six Sigma methodologies. Makigami is a systemic process improvement method originating at Fujico Japan in 1996. The term is Japanese and translates to “roll of paper” or “scroll,” reflecting the visual representation of the process that often resembles an unrolled scroll. The Makigami process map is a detailed and comprehensive visual tool used to analyze and improve business processes.

The Golden Rules

Essentially a form of process map, it contains “the Golden Rules”  which consist of the following 5 factors:

  1. Activities performed by all participants
  2. All documents/media used for communication
  3. Communication
  4. Time-analysis
  5. Identified problems

Although Makigami is a simple tool it is the basic vehicle towards a completely different approach to support- and administrative organisations. Proving to be a key component towards building a holistic view of the organisation and its surrounding and has taken many organisations to the next level of success.

As a process map, Makigami focuses on visualising aspects of the organisation which are not physical or directly visible. The Makigami Process Map also can be used to improve the investigated process by designing a future state map after taking away the identified losses.

Makigami in the Present

Today one of the issues with using Makigami is that it is a physical method of process documentation. This gives a completed Makigami map a sense of finality, when really to be truly effective it needs to be adjusted as the organisation changes. This is why digital process documentation is more predominant today. It is much easier to share a digital process map for reference to a lot of staff regardless of their location. Digital solutions are also much more practical due to the fact you can update them from anywhere in real-time. 

That said Makigami does provide very useful insight into your organisation’s systems value-stream processes. Makigami is a refined quality management system. Therefore, it is now possible to make a deep analysis of the current state and redesign for the future state within one week. Finally ending with presenting a 100-day plan to implement your improvements for the future state. So with one week’s planning, you can have a large period of time fully prepared and planned. This isn’t the most efficient method but it is effective. 

Further Resources of Makigami:

Louie A

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Louie A

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