Value Stream Map

Value Stream Map Template

Define and optimize the various steps of delivering a product using lean methodology.

About the Value Stream Mapping template

Value stream mapping helps you better understand repeatable processes, allowing you to optimize them accordingly. With our Value Stream Mapping template, you can create your own map easily.

What is a value stream map?

A value stream map is a powerful tool you can use to analyze any process with repeatable steps. The map helps you spot waste, eliminate inefficiencies, and build processes that deliver real value on tight timeframes.

Value stream mapping originated from the lean manufacturing methodology developed by Toyota. Following their “just-in-time” strategy, the Japanese automaker only delivers enough finished cars to meet demand, which keeps them from losing money on storage and holding patterns. Toyota’s lean strategy minimizes time-to-market, but it relies on continuous improvement.

To accomplish a just-in-time strategy like Toyota’s, a clear value stream analysis is non-optional. The Miro Value Stream Map template promotes communication and collaboration on better cross-functional processes.

With this template, you can pinpoint every obstacle keeping you from a streamlined production process, no matter what industry you’re in.

What are the benefits of value stream mapping?

Value stream mapping is a critical component of any business strategy. Here are just a few things it can do.

Foster collaboration

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.

Reduce waste

Most of the 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 all of Team A’s knowledge, experience, tools, and resources go with it.

If anything falls through the cracks, Team B has to waste time reinventing the wheel. That costs your company precious time and resources.

Value stream analysis allows you to overcome this obstacle by clarifying which handoffs are causing waste and why. With value stream mapping, you can reduce downtime from team transitions, making a Toyota-style lean strategy more feasible.

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, that focus can be hard to maintain.

The value stream mapping exercise forces you to evaluate whether each step in the process is adding value from the customer’s standpoint. This laser focus maintains your competitive advantage the only way it’s possible to do so sustainably: by producing the most value for your customers in the leanest way possible.

How do you create a value stream map?

Start by selecting the Value Stream Mapping template on this page. Invite your team to collaborate on the template, then follow these steps.

  1. Determine your scope. Figure out the start and endpoints of your value stream. When do you start adding value to the raw materials, and when do you hand the finished product off, either to a customer or another business?

  2. Add objects for each step. What steps do you take to prepare a single product or feature for the customer? Create a box for each one. It might help to think of each team as its own step.

  3. Add the flow of materials between each object. Add an arrow between each step. Label each arrow with the resources that must be transferred for the next step to be possible.

  4. Add information flows. Add arrows of a different color to show which steps must communicate with each other to complete the process. Include flows that don’t match the resource flows, such as sending regular updates to a central management team.

  5. Add a timeline that shows how long each step takes. Base this on your real-world cycle time data. This is how you’ll be able to shed light on which steps and transitions are wasting time and resources.

  6. Revise as needed. Remember, lean management demands continuous improvement. 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? Identify any steps in the process that do not add value to the customer.

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.

2. Responsibility

Who is mapping the value stream? It’s important to assign this task to an experienced team who can see the current state map and future state maps from start to finish.

3. Identifying the problem

What problem are you solving? Looking at the current state map, what are the deficiencies in the process flow? 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.

FAQs about value stream mapping

Why is value stream mapping important?

Value stream mapping is a powerful tool for identifying inefficiencies in a process and finding ways to iterate process improvements. They’re particularly valuable because they incorporate both materials and information, thus helping streamline processes on multiple levels.

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.

Value Stream Map Template

Get started with this template right now.

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