Value Stream Map

What is a Value Stream Map?

A Value Stream Map is a Lean Management method for simultaneously managing the current state and planning for the future state of the series of processes that lead a product or service from the beginning of production right through to the customer.  This type of lean methodology can be applied to almost any value chain and is incredibly useful for any business to have. It is all about process improvement by IDENTIFYING WASTES and making your business more efficient.

7 Wastes

There are 7 types of wastes associated with Value Stream Mapping that you will want to avoid as much as possible.

  1.  DefectsThis refers to products or services that were created or delivered and doesn’t meet standards or customer expectations.  These defects are caused by a number of errors and to rework or remake them can cost the business a lot of money.
  2.  Overproduction – Often we want to “get ahead of ourselves” by producing goods even if there are no requirements by the customer.  We manufacture excess stock “just in case” we can sell them.  But doesn’t that cost money in tied up funds and space?  If the customer doesn’t require this, there is a risk that this becomes obsolete and will eventually need to dispose of the stock.
  3.  Inventory – Do you have too much stock?  Do you have too much stock of the slower moving items?  How much does this cost you in tied up funds?  The cost of inventory is the equivalent of what you would earn if you were to invest the same amount of money in a financial institution versus the money tied up in purchased/manufactured stock.
  4.  Over-Processing – This waste is similar to overproduction but instead refers to delivering excessive services. The re-entering of data multiple times or circulating reports that are never read are examples of this.
  5.  Human Motion – This is to do with the physical walking and movement that staff have to do.   How many times do we look for stock, materials, information and people through unnecessary walking in the workplace?
  6.  Transportation and Handling – Similar to human motion waste, this refers to unnecessary motion through the use of forklifts, trucks, or any type of vehicles or material handling equipment.  Do you double handle pallets?  Do you send out the truck half empty?
  7. Waiting – This includes any kind of delays that can be avoided such as waiting for materials and parts, slow internet connections, waiting for approvals, waiting for the correction of errors further back on the production line.

How To Use the Value Stream Mapping Method

  1. Planning and Preparation. First of all you will need to identify the processes that your product or service needs to go through and be clear on the purpose of why you would like to improve.
  2. Draw a current value stream map that outlines the current process. Include detail such as cycle and lead time, quantities of wastes, waiting time, etc.  And then brainstorm of all potential opportunities based on the wastes defined.
  3. Draw a future value stream map (called value stream design) where it represents the ideal state.
  4. Start working towards your future value stream map by implementing improvement actions.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the implementation of the Value Stream Map in your business, then do not hesitate to contact us for further information at or 1800 359 881. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and help you find a better understanding of how to get this system started in your company. Contact us today to get started.