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Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is Lean Management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer.

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Flevy Management Insights: VSM


Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is Lean Management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer.

Like most Lean models, VSM is often associated with Manufacturing processes. However, it is used in Supply Chain, Logistics, Service-related industries, Healthcare, Software Development, Product Development, as well as Administrative & Office processes.

The goal of Value Stream Mapping is to identify, to demonstrate, and to decrease waste in the process. Waste is defined as any activity that does not add value to the final product. The word is often used to demonstrate and decrease the amount of "waste" in a manufacturing system. VSM can thus serve as a starting point to help management, engineers, production associates, schedulers, suppliers, and customers to recognize waste and identify its causes.

The Value Stream Map is a visual representation of the flow of materials from supplier to customer through your organization as well as the flow of information. This enables us to see at a glance where the delays are in your process, any restraints, and excessive inventory. It is primarily a communication tool, but can also be used as a Strategic Planning and Change Management tool.

The construction of a VSM is a team effort. It should involve representatives from all of the areas within the process being mapped. This creation of a Value Stream Map should be facilitated and led by an expert with experience in creating Value Stream Maps.

For effective implementation, take a look at these VSM best practices:


Explore related management topics: Value Stream Mapping Operational Excellence Lean Management/Enterprise Lean Six Sigma Black Belt




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