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Value Stream Mapping

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What is Value Stream Mapping ?

Value Stream Mapping is a lean manufacturing technique used to analyze the flow of materials and information currently required to bring a product or service to consumer. It identifies and demonstrates waste in the process.

When is it used ?

To identify value added, non value added activities & the time spent in step of a process that delivers customer value. To identify inputs flow through the system in creating final customer value. To identify, demonstrates waste in the process. To visualize and understand flow or lack of it . It makes Area of Waste visible.

How is it made and analysed?

Steps to Create VSM
1. Identify Customer Value

Points to look for

Value as seen by customer Defined in term of whole product / service Critical starting point Specific to project/Customer Many value streams exist in a project Select appropriate value stream for improvement Use pareto principle to choose the value stream based on the inflow, effort, customer impact, business value etc.

2. Identify the Value Stream

3. Establish Current Level Performance 4. Map Current State 5. Identify VA /NVA / bottlenecks & establish baseline

Measure the current level performance for the identified value streams Compute effort spent vs. available capacity. As a first step will a 5 Why or is there a need to do a VSM

To understand reality do a VSM for the identified streams Focus on end to end value stream Capture value flow as well as information flow.

Carefully study the VSM to segregate real waste from essential activities Identify value/ information flow to identify wait times and bottlenecks Calculate process efficiency , throughout productivity Establish baselines

How is it made and analysed?

Steps to Create VSM
6. Derive future state VSM

Points to look for

Finalize Goal Analyze gaps between Goal & entitlement Derive future State Map Identify actions to reach the goal Implement actions to move towards the future map Monitor performance Measure Goal

7. Implementation 8. Measure new process efficiency

Measure new Process Efficiency Take the future state map as baseline for further improvement Measure actual performance of the value stream

VA/ NVA/ VE Analysis

Total Activity Maximise

A tha ny a c ad t doe tivit dv s y al no co can b ue & t m av ple e oid tel ed y .

Value Add

Activities th like was at look te but ar e necessa ry so the subsequ en add valu t can e minimum with waste

Non Value Add


An activ ity transform that s input, th the ereb bringing y closer to it the form req uired by the custome r

Non Value Add (NVA) Eliminat e

Essential Non Value Add (ENVA/ VE) Reviews On Job Training

Waiting Defects/ Rework

Types of Wastes
Overproduction/ Duplication Transport/Transfer Waiting


astes ven W Se




Future State Questions

1. 2.





What does the customer really need? How often will we check our performance to customer needs? Which steps create value and which are waste? How can we flow work with fewer interruptions? How do we control work between interruptions? How will work be prioritized? Is there an opportunity to balance the work load and/or different activities?

Value Stream mapping Example

VSM for Potato Chips Plant

Benefits of VSM

Quick and easy to learn It helps portray the process from the start of the production process to the end It help finds bottlenecks It helps find waste within the process Its an inexpensive tool all you need is a paper and pen! It can be easily critiqued by your workforce (using post it notes) to highlight problems that exist within the process Its not just for manufacturing! Value stream mapping has been used in offices, service industries healthcare etc.

Limitations OF VSM

The Problem of Over-hype

This situation sets up unrealistic expectations and diverts attention from important aspects of complex problems.

Non-Technical Aspects of Lean

There may also be quality issues that the company could address through Six Sigma or TQM techniques. 5S can clean up the plant, improve safety and further raise productivity. Value Stream Mapping addresses none of these directly.

Symbology Affects Thinking :

Many VSM symbols may lead the user to employ these techniques even when they are inappropriate

Fuzzy Definitions

The map does not begin to capture "all specific actions "Value Stream" conjures a vision of water running through a series of value-adding activities. But many icons do not depict value adding activities, do not touch the product and do not flow like a stream.


A VSM group requires training on symbols and mapping techniques and on the Lean manufacturing elements that the symbols represent this contrasts with Process Mapping which only requires a trained facilitator.