Value Stream Map – A Map to Where?



Value stream maps show you WHERE to focus your improvements.

Fixing lots of things but not seeing the impact of the fixes?

An example – technicians wanted to increase the number of customer visits in a week.  They focused on the customer facing step – decrease the on-site service time.  Result: NO increase in the weekly customer visits.  It turns out they dropped into problem solving mode before understanding the end to end process steps and data to identify the priority area.  The Value Stream Map showed significant time being consumed in traveling and not the service; the focus area should have been on scheduling and technician drive time!


What is a Value Stream Map?

  • “All the actions, both Value Added (VA) and Non-Value Added (NVA), required to bring a product (any goods or service) through the critical management tasks of any business”*
  • A map of the overall, “high level” process (think 40,000 ft. view); not the task or individual job task level
  • Includes all the major steps, resources, systems, information flow, performance data, and time required for the product
  • Spans all involved functions and jobs
  • Learn more here


Why create value stream maps?

  • They provide a systematic tool to help identify the best areas to focus and the improvement approach to be used
  • Help to visualize the flow across functions and organizations; shows relationships between material and information flow
  • Lead teams to work together for a common goal; attacks the silo mentality
  • Uses data to analyze the end to end process rather than attack the ‘squeaky wheel’
  • Helps you see the waste in the process and its sources


When do you use Value stream mapping?

  • When identifying improvements to existing products or services for more capacity, reduced cycle time, increased quality, less cost
  • Developing new products or services to envision the least waste way of production
  • Identifying improvements in “enabling” value streams such as human resources and IT
  • When conducting annual improvement planning to set directions and allocate resources
  • When redesigning organization structures for effectiveness and efficiency in management
  • Tracking progress as you proceed to your Vision


Where will a value stream map take me?

  • Better input into your strategic and annual plan priorities
  • Identification of opportunities to innovate or redesign a product or service
  • Opportunities to eliminate, combine, re-sequence, or simplify activities within the value stream
  • Making the most of our time and resources (stop trying to solve everything and all the little issues when there may be a bigger issue that can solve many issues)
  • More focused results and faster…


Try it!

  * See “Learning to See”, Mike Rother and John Shook

Continual Impact LLC, 2017