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Value Stream Mapping

Value stream mapping (VSM) can be an extremely powerful tool, combining material processing steps with information flow as well as other important related data. VSM is one of the most powerful lean tools for an organization. VSM is used to Graphically illustrate, analyze and understand the flow of materials and the information needed to process them. Highlight problems, inefficiencies and losses within complex systems.

Develop and implement countermeasures in a highly visual way that facilitates culture change within the organization. The entire value-stream mapping process utilizes graphical depictions of limiting factors that all stakeholders can easily visualize. Focus direction for the lean transformation teams, front-line supervision and upper management towards continuous improvement. Serve as a dashboard to monitor and continuously improve the process. To understand the current state we Identify the product or service that you are analyzing. We Create a value stream map of the current process identifying steps, queues, delays and information flows. Review the map to find delays, waste and constraints. Create a new value stream map of the future state optimized to remove/reduce delays, waste and constraints. Develop a road map to create the future state and Plan to revisit the process in the future to continually tune and optimize.

Let’s take an example here, were you and your friend goes to a bakery shop to buy cake. Thumb rule is we don’t proceed until this step is done.

Steps involved in buying cake are:

  • Go to Cake selection counter and select cake

  • Go to the baker counter wait for your turn and process payment

  • Drive through and reach home

  • Unpack your cake

  • And finally eat the cake

  • Track the time you took for each activity to be complete, again remember we don’t proceed until that step is done

For Some reason like, selected cake not available there may be a scenario where you go back to cake counter to select a cake. So, now as per VSM, Measure the Value Adding and Non Value Adding activities, calculate efficiencies, identifying waste, bottlenecks and improvement actions.

Total Time taken or cycle time = 42 minutes which sum of all value added and non-value added activities.

Process cycle efficiency is 29% which is total

Value add /Total cycle time = 12/42.

In value add time we are not considering time taken from one counter to other or time taken from cake shop to home.