By Nader Talai • July 27, 2017

How To Map The Sources of Demand

This post outlines the workshop format we use to make the work visible, visualised work. In this workshop, we use the diverge and converge pattern that is we work individually first to come up with a diverse set of the sources of demand then collaborate together to converge on the agreed set. 

One of the first steps for managing the work and not the worker is to visualise the value stream and make the invisible work visible. This post supplements the Kanban Mapping guide and is part of the value stream mapping workshop.


Click here to get your free Kanban Mapping 


What is in this post, how to visualise your current value flow

  • Sources of Demand
  • Knowledge discovery steps
  • Identify the sources of dissatisfaction

How to map the sources of demand - Material

Post it notes, multiple colours


Board marker

Step 1: Set up the whiteboard as shown

Step 1.jpg

Step 2: List the major knowledge discovery steps

Remmember to only list the major steps too coarse grain then we have little information to act on and too fine grain we have too much noise.

step 2.jpg

Step 3: Identify the types of demand

Working individually list the types of demands you get, one type of demand on a post it.

Share your demand types, remove duplicates.

Group demands that are not for this service and demands that relate to the service,

use a different colour to list the types of demand

step 3.jpg

Step 4: Run the map

Working one demand type at the time, map the current work items indicating where they are in the flow.

You may discover new demand types!



Look at how the work is distributed how many are unrelated to the service. Once you start to visualise your work you can look at the ratio of service related and unrelated work items for capacity allocation.

How many are complete?

How many are in progress?

Step 5: Sources of dissatisfaction

Working one work item at a time, individually note the sources of dissatisfaction. Shown as red circles some with an additional mark to indicate that the source of dissatisfaction is external.

step 5.jpg


We need to make the invisible work visible so we can see and manage the value flow. In this workshop, we use the diverge and converge pattern and remember we are mapping the current value flow. Identify the sources of demand and work through them one at a time to identify the sources of dissatisfaction.

  • Sources of Demand
  • Knowledge discovery steps
  • Identify the sources of dissatisfaction

Once you have visualised your value flow use it to make the work visible and manage the work.

Love to hear your feedback and share how you visualise your value flow.


Want to find out more about visualising work and managing the work, check out

Become a Kanban Management Professional with Value Glide

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