Friday 30 November 2018

Value Stream Mapping : How to analyze Process Quality with it?

A Value Stream Mapping is a pencil & paper tool that helps to see & understand the flow of material & information as a product or service makes its way through the value stream.

Value Stream Mapping is one of the Lean Manufacturing tools that helps us see the flow of material and information needed as the product runs throughout the business process. We will be able to see the product journey from raw material form to final product to customer's hand.


Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is create in the form of a flowchart graph and is use to analyze and design the flow of materials and information need to deliver products and services to customers. This technique was first develope in Toyota and was previously called "material and information tool mapping". This tool can be apply in almost any value chain.

The benefits of VSM in general are to help improve overall business processes and improve process efficiency and effectiveness. Some other advantages of the Value Stream Mapping (VSM) application are:

  • Know the inventory accumulation points in the business process

  • Helps view the overall business processes that are currently running

  • Helps design the desire process, which is efficient, effective, and certainly free from waste

Because Value Stream Mapping can provide data about the process, this tool is often apply before starting the Lean Six Sigma project initiative. VSM will show which parts need to be target and improve with improvement projects.

Value Stream Mapping can be customize for each specific product. Can also be made for one group of products that have the same process stages (it is call product family). Once we determine products specific to VSM, we should also look at customer demand to determine Takt Time (the time it takes to produce the product, according to the level of customer demand).

Value Stream Mapping helps identify several things, such as:

  • Over-accumulation of inventory in a particular process

  • High scrap

  • Low up time

  • The batch is too big

  • Inadequate flow of information

  • Waiting time is too long

  • Time efficiency of the entire business process

To apply the VSM, teams must go to the field (perform gemba) and discuss with workers in the field to ensure data accuracy.

Why VSM?

  • It is a Blueprint for improvement.

  • Clear Focus on the Customer

  • Best Tool to document current state

  • Clear communication of current state to generate

  • Easy to identify wastes

  • Avoids Sub-optimizing the process

When you map a value stream, you should always understand that VSM is a flexible tool that should be customize to fit your company's needs. As long as your organization uses a consistent methodology and set of icons, they can differ from a textbook and still achieve their goals. The mapping activity needs to result in an actionable plan that will achieve less waste and ultimately more profits for the organization. This is the bottom line.


Value stream mapping is a tool Toyota develope for identifying improvement opportunities to the overall flow. Toyota actually calls the tool "Material and Information Flow Mapping,".

Which is a more accurate (but less exciting) description. Before I begin a value stream mapping workshop, I often ask how many people have use value stream mapping before. In most cases, the majority of the class believes that they have use the tool.

However, by the time the class has end at, 90% of those who had believe that they had use "value stream mapping" realize that they had actually use process mapping, which is a quite different but useful tool.

What makes value stream mapping different?

It is the fact that there are two flows on a value stream map- the material flow and the information flow. Value stream mapping helps us understand the relationship between the information flow and the material flow; ultimately, this helps us understand what the sources of our waste are.
For example,

The reason for overproduction is often root in the information communicated to the factory floor. When we understand our sources of waste we can create a picture of a future state with less waste and develop an implementation plan to achieve the future state.

Value stream mapping can be use to map the material and information flows within an organization or throughout an entire supply chain.

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