What is value stream mapping (VSM)?

What is value stream mapping (VSM)?

#VSM #CustomerValue

When you organize a cluttered closet, the primary step is to get rid of everything from the space. Laying everything out gives you a higher sense of what you have got, making it easier to reorganize.

Work improvements are similar therein it’s hard to note inefficiencies without spreading everything go in front of you. Doing this together with your workflow can reveal problems you didn’t notice before—that’s where value stream mapping comes in handy.


What is value stream mapping?

Value stream mapping could be a flowchart method wont to illustrate and analyze a production process. VSM could be a key component in lean project management—an Agile methodology that increases customer value by eliminating waste from each project phase.

Value stream mapping (VSM) involves four basic steps:
  1. Map current process
  2. Find and eliminate waste
  3. Map improved, future process
  4. Implement future process

You may notice room for improvement in areas of your value stream map such as:

  • Process flow
  • Lead and processing times
  • Equipment reliability
  • Raw materials/inventory

When you find waste in your production flow, like overproduction, mismanagement, or project defects, you'll be able to then manage these bottlenecks so your process flows smoothly.

When must you use value stream mapping?

Value stream mapping can result in significant improvements in your business model. But you shouldn’t invest time and resources on VSM if it doesn’t suit your needs. Here are situations once you should use value mapping:
  • To improve an end-to-end work process
  • To identify assembled inventories in an exceedingly process
  • To find opportunities for process optimization
  • To learn the inherent complexities of a process
  • To understand the IT systems employed in a process
  • To assess the effectiveness of customer service channels
  • To visually display the health of your processes
  • To strategically review your processes

Creating a price stream map provides insight into many aspects of a piece process. However, a worth map might not be helpful if you’re trying to unravel a controversy that has no relevancy information, product, or time flow.


How to create a worth stream map

Value stream mapping has four basic steps, but you’ll feel more prepared if you expand the method into nine steps. the primary five steps within the VSM process target project planning. Having a project plan increases your insights and will result in better process improvements. Then, you'll start on the four basic steps of VSM with all of the context you wish.


1. Identify the matter

Value stream mapping is a vital a part of regular workflow maintenance, but you'll be able to also use it to unravel a team or customer problem you’re already awake to. as an example, you'll notice that your customer demand is over the number of inventory stock you have got available. once you notice an issue but don’t know the cause, you'll share the problem along with your team and use VSM to seek out solutions.

Tip: during this initial stage, brainstorm and ask inquiries to identify both internal and external inefficiencies. Put yourself within the position of your customer and your team members so you'll find pain points.


2. Choose your team

You’ll need a determined and focused team to assist you map the worth stream, closely analyze it, and implement your improved production process. A cross-functional team of members from the sales, operations, customer service, and style departments will provide you with the talents and perspectives you would like to optimize process times and meet customer needs. betting on the matter you're trying to resolve, you'll not need representatives from all of those teams. Choose wisely to form your VSM team as efficient as possible.

Tip: Employ both executives and people in supporting roles on your VSM team to extend visibility into internal issues. Invite suppliers or other stakeholders to affix your group if you would like an outsider’s point of view.


3. Define the project scope

Your value stream mapping exercise could be a project of its own, which implies you’ll have to define your scope. If you don’t define your project scope, you won’t know the way much of your work processes to map. Lack of defined scope also makes it harder to spot and eliminate waste anon.

Tip: Only use VSM for one product at a time. Decide whether to map the merchandise life cycle in its entirety or target specific process steps. If you’re producing a software package, you'll be able to map the method from the initial feature request to customer delivery. omit conditional steps that will occur once the customer receives the merchandise.


4. Map your value stream

Now that you’ve scoped your VSM, you'll begin your map. Use value stream symbols (explained below) to point out how information flows between your work activities. If you’re mapping out your entire production process, your map will create a circle. the ultimate stage of the assembly process should cycle back to the initial process step.

Tip: If you aren’t sure where to start out your value stream map, begin with the team member responsible of approving requests between a customer and a supplier. you'll be able to also visualize your map in three parts. Dedicate the highest a part of your map to information flow, the center part to product flow, and therefore the bottom part to time flow.


5. Add project data

Once you've got an illustration of your value stream, add relevant metrics to induce the foremost accurate insights from this exercise. While the map alone can facilitate your visualize certain things, like your company’s manufacturing process or software development, you’ll must pair the image with data boxes to check things like time, quantity, and quality between all of the method steps.

Data points you'll raise your map include:
  • Amount of inventory held for every step
  • Cycle time per unit
  • Transfer time
  • Number of team members needed to perform each step
  • Number of products scrapped
  • Number of products in each processing batch
  • Takt time (rate needed to provide products so as to fulfill customer demand)

Tip: the information you include in your map will vary looking on your industry, the method you’re mapping, and what problems you hope to resolve. Most data will fall within these three categories:
  • Office or support data
  • Manufacturing or shop data
  • Supplier or outside processing data


6. Create a timeline

A clear timeline is crucial to any production process, and delays can throw off your entire workflow. You’ll dedicate the underside third of your value stream map to time flow employing a time ladder, which has two rungs for time interval and cycle time. This ladder will offer you a more robust sense of whether your interval and cycle time are up to hurry.
  • Lead time is that the total time it takes for your team to complete a task, starting when a task first enters your workflow. interval includes all of the operational processes leading up to the particular production stage.
  • Cycle time is that the a part of your total time interval when you're actually completing a task. this is often sometimes called value-added time.

Calculate time interval by taking stock of the inventory available before each process step and dividing it by the customer demand for the merchandise. for instance, imagine youif you've got four of your products available before heading into the shipping process step and therefore the customer demand for the merchandise is 2 products per day, then your interval is 2 days.

Tip: interval is closely tied to inventory management and customer satisfaction. If your time interval is just too long, you’ll have trouble predicting when to replenish your inventory. Your value stream map can facilitate your optimize lead times before you discover yourself behind on product delivery.


7. Analyze your current map

As you build your current flow state map, you’ll likely notice areas that require optimizing. to complete your value stream map, fill it in with project data to form the areas of waste more visible.

However whether or not the areas of waste seem obvious, you must still set focused time aside for map analysis. Areas of waste in lean management include:
  • Overproduction (unnecessary features)
  • Inventory (mismanaged backlog)
  • Motion (task switching)
  • Defects (technical debt)
  • Over-processing (expensive tools)
  • Waiting
  • Transport
  • Fragmented teams

Tip: the simplest thanks to analyze your map is by performing kaizen bursts on any areas of waste you’ve identified. The word kaizen comes from two Japanese words: kai, meaning improvement, and zen, meaning good. Combined, the 2 words create the thought of continuous improvement. You’ll use kaizen bursts to get value-adding ideas for the longer term state value stream map.


8. Design your new map

You’re now able to draw your future state value stream map. This map will look almost like your current map, but include elements of kaizen for areas needing improvement. you'll use Kanban software to implement a pull—or pull resources only if demand demand them—and improve your flow of knowledge.

The specific symbols you boost your future state map will vary looking on your process. See the VSM symbol map below for visual representations of the following:
  • Supermarket: Represents a Kanban stock point where customers can get the inventory they have as soon because the supplier replenishes it.
  • Production Kanban: Indicates the necessity for product to provide parts to a downstream process.
  • Material withdrawal Kanban: Instructs an operator to maneuver parts from a supermarket to a process.
  • Signal Kanban: Used when inventory levels during a supermarket are low, and signals production of a specified number of parts.
  • Kanban post: Indicates location for collecting Kanban signals, typically located near a supermarket.
  • Material pull: Represents removal of stored inventory from supermarkets.
  • Sequenced pull: Eliminates the necessity for supermarket storage of inventory between processes by instructing a specified team to supply a custom order.

Tip: Use the worth stream symbol map below to determine what each symbol feels like and place them in your future state map accordingly. While the goal of your future state map is to simplify material flow, don’t worry if your future state map looks more crowded than your current state map thanks to the symbols you’ve added.


9. Implement your new map

The last step within the VSM process is to implement solutions from your future state map into your work process. this is often where you’ll see the analysis of your map pay off.

Like organizing a closet, it feels chaotic to sort through clutter, but the project’s purpose becomes clear once you're feeling the convenience of using your newly functional space. While identifying waste and finding leaner solutions is challenging, the ultimate product could be a more efficient workflow and happier customers.
Create efficient workflows with value stream mapping
If you are striving for continuous improvement, maintain your processes on a regular basis as if you were at home. While VSM can feel tedious, the result is a more efficient workflow with less waste and shorter lead times.

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