Value stream mapping template & VSM examples for teams
Define and optimize the various steps of delivering a product.
Value stream mapping is a method of depicting the flow of materials and information necessary to bring a product to a customer. The mapper uses a series of symbols to showcase work streams and information flows, and another symbol to indicate whether those items add value. The mapper can thereby figure out which items are not adding value from the customer’s standpoint.
About the Value Stream Map template
What is a Value Stream Map?
A value stream map is a process improvement tool that is used to analyz any process with repeatable steps and eliminate inefficiencies. For example, let’s say your company makes cameras. If a problem arises during the lens manufacturing step, workers can see the physical parts creating a bottleneck at that part of the assembly line. But processes are not always so visible. Value stream mapping allows you to gain visibility into processes that might not be as tangible as camera manufacturing.
Value stream mapping is considered part of the lean manufacturing methodology developed by Toyota, which was used to minimize cycle time and maximize the utility of raw materials via the just-in-time inventory method.
Value stream mapping results in better communication and collaboration. Use the value stream map template to understand knowledge gaps in handoffs between team members and across teams. An effective value stream map helps identify waste, foster collaboration, and streamline production.
What are the benefits of value stream mapping?
Value stream mapping is a critical component of any business’s strategy. Here’s why.
Value stream maps make it easy to identify gaps in communication between teams and across functions. Once you’ve identified these gaps, you can brainstorm ideas for fostering communication and knowledge-sharing.
Most “waste” in your production process occurs during handoffs between teams. When a project changes hands from Team A to Team B, it’s crucial to make sure that all of Team A’s knowledge, experience, tools, and resources go with it. If anything falls through the cracks, then Team B might have to waste time reinventing the wheel. That costs your company precious time and resources. Value stream mapping allows you to overcome this obstacle by clarifying examples of waste. With value stream mapping, you can reduce downtime and process delays, and decrease the chances of encountering constraints like inventory issues.
Focus on the customer
At all stages of production, your focus should be on the customer. But when there are so many teams and moving parts to think about, it can be hard to maintain that focus. Value stream mapping enables you to prioritize the customer. In creating a value stream map, you must detail each step in the process and evaluate whether it is adding value from the customer’s standpoint. This laser focus allows your company to ensure you are competing effectively in the market: producing the most value for your customers in the leanest way possible.
What factors should you keep in mind when creating a value stream map?
1. Business value
Which aspect of the product has the highest business value? Answer that question before you start building your map.
Who is mapping the value stream? It’s important to assign this task to a mature, experienced team who can see the map from start to finish.
3. Identifying the problem
What problem are you solving? What are the deficiencies in the current state of the process flow, and how can you improve future states? Think about this question from the customer’s perspective. What have you been hearing from your customers? Do they think the price of your product is too high or the quality is low? Make sure everyone is on the same page about your problem before you start mapping.
4. Setting tangible objectives
What is the scope? Make sure you know what problems you can’t solve, or don’t need to solve right away. That will help you create a clear, effective map with no extraneous parts.
5. Continuous improvement
How can you do better? Once you’ve drawn your map, don’t be afraid to iterate. How does your timeline look? What process steps have you mapped out? Is your lead time too long? Are you seeing test failures? Why do you think that is? Identify any steps in the process that do not add value to the customer.
FAQs about value stream mapping
How do you create a value stream map?
To create a value stream map, you need to first articulate a clear objective for the processes that you want to improve. Then, break the process into its constituent steps, including both the flow of materials and information, gather data on these processes, and then look for inefficiencies that can be rectified.
Why is value stream mapping important?
Value stream mapping is a powerful tool for identifying inefficiencies in a process and finding ways to iterate improvements. They’re particularly valuable because they incorporate both materials and information, thus helping streamline processes on multiple levels.
Value Stream Map template
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