One of the most powerful tools in the Lean Toolbox is the Value Stream Map. In a short time (usually less than an hour) you can effectively communicate where the focus of your Continuous Improvement efforts will have the most effect.
The VSM is full of pictures and friendly symbols which make a simple tool understand and develop.
Below is an example of a VSM for a Printing and Binding Operation
Step 1 – Understand Value
The first step to developing a VSM is to understand the concept of “value-adding activities”. There are three criteria for Value Adding Activities:
- Customer wants you to do it
- The material or information is being processed or transformed to final products
- It is done right the first time
Any activity that exists outside of these three criteria is considered “Waste”.
Once we understand and define value for the organization and we understand the focus, we now start to develop the VSM.
I have worked with hundreds of teams and have found that developing a VSM manually with Post It notes and flip charts work best.
To learn more, register for our Value Stream Mapping Online Training.