Value Stream Mapping


A value stream map is drawing of everything that happens to a product (or a service item) from start to finish.  It is more than just a list of steps, however.  It allows you to see how much of your lead time is spent adding value (making what the customer has asked for), vs. how much time is spent in wasteful non-value-added activity*.  By mapping the value streams for your products, you can easily see where your “quick wins” are, along with many other opportunities for eliminating waste in your processes.

*Your company currently has to pay (through payroll, excess inventory, work in progress…) for all the non-value-added steps in your process which slow down processing, increase costs, etc., but your customers simply won’t pay you for those steps – they will only pay for the product!  Some call this “overhead”, or “the cost of doing business”, but it’s really just waste!  Non-value-added activities eat up margin.

 It is not uncommon to find entire days or weeks worth of savings on just one value stream map.  I recently helped one company take a process from three full days down to 8-10 minutes, which was later reduced to 1-2 minutes… not by working faster, but by doing less.  It’s known as “the art of subtraction.”  It’s not an exaggeration – This is the power of lean.

Workshop goals and learning objectives: 

Value stream mapping is an eye-opening way to set up a game plan for taking your company beyond
what is normally possible.  In this workshop we will choose a product and map the current process together, then from what we’ve uncovered, quickly draw the “future state” map of how things
should flow, then, we roll up our sleeves together and make those changes happen!

  • Draw a current-state map, then a future-state map
  • Take action and make real changes happen immediately
  • Distinguish between individual efficiency
  • Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 12.45.12 PMScreen Shot 2014-04-14 at 5.04.01 PMUnderstand continuous flow processing

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping:

  • Establish a direction for the company’s improvement efforts – maps become the blueprints for the lean transformation
  • Target multiple kaizen opportunities for bigger and more sustainable impact
  • Visualize improvements to the overall production flow, instead of spot improvements to single processes
  • Create the basis for an effective lean implementation plan by designing how a facility’s door-to-door material and information flow could operate
  • Give team members at all levels a common language and process for continuous improvement