Value Stream Map (VSM) is a high-level tool used by leadership for strategic planning. It represents the flow of material and information through the value stream. It is a tool that allows you to see waste. In addition, you can create your plan to eliminate it. However, this is not a one-person tool. For best results, organize a kaizen event to create the value stream map with a multi-disciplinary team.
Things to do prior to create a value stream map
Like any other kaizen event or improvement activity, planning is critical for success. During the planning stage, the facilitator will guide the team to prepare for the VSM event. The preparation includes details such as team composition, scope, and limitations.
Steps to create the value stream map
At the kaizen event, the team must complete three critical steps.
- Draw and understand the current state map.
- Design and draw the future state map.
- Develop the plan to arrive at the future state.
Understand what you want to accomplish before start drawing
What is the motivation or reason for wanting to do a value stream map? Do you want to understand how the organization works from order requests to product or service delivery? Or is there a need to learn how to serve your customers better? The objective of the event must be clear before executing the planning phase.
Knowing what you want to learn from the VSM facilitates the process of forming the team. You want to have a cross-functional team of managers and decision-makers from all the areas that cover the process under study. Remember, this process map is a high-level study of the process; the purpose is to make tactical decisions.
Planning is so crucial that I will dedicate an entire post to talk about it in detail. More posts will follow with the different steps of the value stream mapping process.