Know more about Value Stream Mapping and the Steps required

Know more about Value Stream Mapping and the Steps required

Businesses often face issues due to the fluctuating relationship between demand and supply. Hence, Value Stream Mapping involves steps that transpire to provide customers with products and services. In other words, it fulfills the demands of customers by following a series of steps.

Moreover, the customers look for companies that provide additional value along with the product or service. Therefore, VSM and its steps help businesses comprehend the various sequences to enhance the collective process. 

As a result, in this article, we will delve deep into the concept of value stream mapping, its steps, benefits, and other components. Although, we must first understand the term Value Stream Mapping.

Know more about Value Stream Mapping and the Steps required to complete it

What is Value Stream Mapping?

Value Stream Mapping is a technique to create comprehensive visualization of steps in the business process. That is to say, it is a rendition of the course to products and solutions from the supplier to the customer.

Moreover, VSM enables structure in visualizing the pivotal steps and relative data. Hence, it interprets the data to make any intuitive improvements to develop the complete process. 

Therefore, according to a definition by “Value stream mapping is a lean manufacturing or lean enterprise technique used to document, analyze and improve the flow of information or materials required to produce a product or service for a customer.”

Above all, VSM is an incredible tool that provides an overview of the workflow in various systems. As a result, it helps improve the delivery of products and services by comprehending complex processes.

Furthermore, Value Stream Mapping includes three essential sections. Hence, here are the three sections that simplify VSM:

  • Information Flow: It is the section that presents the communication of process-related information and transference of data. Moreover, it depends on the objective or goal of a mapping exercise to showcase the collection and distribution of information.
  • Product Flow: This section designs the steps of the development lifecycle from planning to execution. It can also refocus on specific areas of a process to make granular or high-level decisions.
  • Time Ladder: Time Ladder or Lead Time Ladder offers a simple visual representation of the value stream timeline. Further, the upper portion of the time ladder represents the average time a feature spends in queues. Whereas the lower portion shows the average amount of time that a feature is intuitively worked out.

The Best Practices on Using Value Stream Mapping Steps

  • Hold an Event

Creating Value Stream Mapping and executing its steps requires an intense amount of data. Therefore, holding an event is an essential practice to collect key processes and create the map. 

Moreover, the teams need to communicate during the creation which helps minimize the errors. Hence, it helps standardize definitions and reach buy-in with results.

  • Mapping out Physically

Above all, it is critical to use large blank wall spaces and sticky notes while creating value stream mapping steps. Hence, it enables multiple departments and their representatives to contribute with additions and suggestions in development.

Also, once the solid rough draft is developed, it is important to circulate an electronic form to easily document and share the information. As a result, this helps to build future state plans in value stream mapping.

  • Focussing on the Current State

Most importantly, businesses must always focus on the current state when creating value stream mapping steps. It is also important that the current state is accurate in its representation before making any improvements or changes.

Value Stream Mapping is a tool that detects bottlenecks and not root causes. Therefore, it is crucial to know that discovering the root cause is the primary requirement to develop the right solutions.

Benefits of Value Stream Mapping and its steps

  • Firstly, value stream mapping and its steps provide engagement and comprehend the requirements of the customer.
  • Furthermore, VSM is an efficient method to record real-time scenarios. Hence, it is easy to make changes in the development cycle, create a baseline, etc. 
  • VSM may also benefit team members, shareholders, and the customer realizes executive but their real benefits. That is to say, VSM will improve the quality of customer experience and deliver faster, more efficient products and services.
  • Value Stream Mapping and its steps are effective techniques of communicating key features in a complex process. Moreover, it shows the lifecycle of a product or service in the process and demonstrates where it is idle in the system.
  • VSM also offers the inputs at every process and the support department to supply information. Therefore, it helps businesses understand the importance of adding value to the support systems for better execution.
  • Value Stream Mapping steps help identify the segments in processes that need improvements. Hence, once it identifies the segments, it helps businesses rectify the components that cause delay.
  • It also signifies the availability, yields, resource constraints, etc., that may affect the completion of a product or service.
  • Most importantly, VSM makes process improvement efforts by addressing the bottlenecks to help the overall system management.

The Principles of Lean in Value Stream Mapping

  • Defining Value

The first principle is defining the customer value, which is pivotal to comprehend what value is. Value refers to the amount that the customer is willing to pay. 

Moreover, it is vital to discover the requirements of products and services. Above all, using quantitative and qualitative methods help identify and assess the customer’s demands. 

  • Mapping the Value Stream

Secondly, the Lean principle identifies and maps the value stream. That is to say, and  the objective is to utilize the customer’s value as a reference to assess activities that contribute to the matter. 

Hence, activities that fail to add value to the customer are considered waste. Additionally, the waste is divided into two categories: non-valued but necessary and non-value & unnecessary.

As a result, mapping the value stream and its steps reduces and eliminates unnecessary processes. Therefore, it ensures customers a rapid and cost-effective solution. 

  • Creating a Flow

After eliminating the waste from the value stream, the next course is to maintain a smooth flow. Therefore, strategies add value to the tasks and activities in the flow. 

  • Establishing the Pull

Above all, inventory is one of the biggest wastes in any production system. Moreover, the goal of a pull-based system limits the inventory and work in progress (WIP) components. Therefore, it ensures that the requisite components and information are available when there is a requirement for the workflow.

  • Pursuing Perfection 

It is certainly vital to prevent wastes and achieve the above four principles. It is also pivotal to pursue perfection, which is the most important principle. That is to say, it generates Lean Thinking, and there is constant improvement in the process. As a result, it becomes a part of the business culture. Hence, it paves the way for the business to create more learning opportunities and expands horizons.

Value Stream Mapping Examples for Various Industries

  • VSM Examples for Manufacturing

In 1993, Toyota famously introduced the “Toyota Production System” book. As a result, businesses of all categories and sizes use VSM to detect inefficiencies.

  • VSM for Healthcare 

Healthcare industries constantly face challenges when it comes to lead time and costs. Hence, this has an adverse effect on the patient’s care and may lead to catastrophic results.

Therefore, the industry is constantly on the lookout for cost-effective solutions. Moreover, surgeries account for 48% of a hospital’s revenue. As a result, value stream mapping can help identify inefficiencies for various categories of operations. Hence, leading to a better healthcare plan for the patients.

  • VSM for Finance

Finance is certainly an important industry. Therefore, financial firms are constantly looking for solutions to help them reduce waste and leverage new technologies to improve efficiency and automate the business.

Steps for Successful Value Stream Mapping

Here are the top steps for businesses to prepare for and achieve successful Value Stream Mapping:

  • Collect Primary Information

Firstly, the collection of information is an important step in VSM. Therefore, information like history, volume, objectives, and strategies must be updated before moving ahead.

Moreover, such information is useful to determine the sales and marketing strategy of any product or service. Hence, it helps analyze and modify the operations for a product and the business it generates. 

  • Creating Product Quantity Routing Analysis

It is also a necessity to create a product quantity routing analysis. Moreover, it helps create a list of customers and products that businesses build.

Above all, it is critical for businesses to follow basic norms while listing their products. Hence, the list shall include the standard products that differ in form, size, and function.

As a result, the information helps determine the volume for all the products that cater to the target audiences. Therefore, this leads to calculating the number of products and the business revenue based on the customer’s demand.

  • Categorize Customers and Sort Materials

Categorizing the customers by the industry they represent certainly helps understand their requirements. It is also vital to sort out the materials according to the industry and the amount of resources for each type.

Hence, this helps identify the on-demand product categories that need mapping. As a result, this eliminates the complication by understanding each product category and sorting the ones that generate revenue.

  • Using Build Sequence to Sort Product Categories

Additionally, before developing a VSM, it is important to build a product quantity routing analysis to detect product categories. Hence, the information helps businesses know which categories require mapping with the help of the flow of operations. As a result, businesses can understand the order of operations and processes. 

  • Appointing a Single Value Stream in the Beginning

It is certainly vital for businesses to be flexible and lead the way when opportunities arise. Therefore, here are a few pointers to consider while appointing a value stream:

    • Highest Percentage of Sales Volume.
    • Market adaptations and changes that affect consumer demand.
    • Profitability of various products.
    • Warranty and Guarantee are impacting individual product categories.
  • Generating a Flow Chart for the Operations

Further, businesses must invest resources in generating a flow chart for every operation in the value stream. Most importantly, businesses must refer to information like work order routing or bills of materials for the product value stream. As a result, it helps create a starting point to identify the steps.

  • Walk the Shop Floor

When the time arises to map a product category, businesses must deploy teams to monitor the shop floor. Therefore, this makes it easier for businesses to understand the groundwork and not just depend on numbers.

Above all, monitoring the steps in the value stream process provides a customer-supplier perspective on the operations. Hence, it helps businesses gain a clear perspective on the waste occurring and whether it is unnecessary or acceptable.

  • Gather the Data

Data is an important part of each and every business. Although, if the data is not analyzed and assessed when required, businesses may lose their revenue. 

Therefore, collecting and assessing large data sets should be a priority for any business. Operators, admins, and other team members can be the best source to gather information to study the data in detail.

  • Develop the VSM

Once businesses adhere to the above steps, it is time for them to develop their value stream by using symbols to determine various tasks and processes.

It is also important that the teams measure relevant metrics that run in the process. Hence, it helps govern which metrics to measure depending on the process and category. Therefore, VSM provides information regarding the value of the products and services. It only collects the data to identify which process generates waste.

  • Abridging the Data for an Overview

Once the businesses are familiar with all the steps necessary for a successful value stream, it is vital to abridge the information together. Further, this step in value stream mapping can determine the data to comprehend the flow of the process.

It is also critical to know the value by identifying the areas where wasteful activity occurs. It also helps examine the process and identify the waste in the process.

Moreover, it encourages the teams to organize and monitor plans to enhance and improve processes. Hence, it is usually better to have an overview of the process.


Value stream mapping steps begin with Lean methodology and use a powerful technique to visualize key objectives. It also controls waste which includes overproduction, defective components, and transportation for services and products.

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