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Value Stream Mapping

Values Stream Mapping

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Competitive Knowledge for Manufacturing People 

’m often asked, “What is the most important factor in 
achieving success when launching an important change 

Without question it is having the full support of upper 
management. That said, those who use it as an excuse 
for not trying commit a major copout! 

I have participated in three change initiatives 
that lacked top management’s full support but were 
still successful. So I know from experience that it 
can be done. In each case, however, management was 
supportive of the process of value stream mapping 
and that provided the organizational structure that 
helped make the implementation of a change initiative 

So, this week we will revisit the power of value 
stream mapping. It is by far the most effective 
methodology for gaining control of business processes 
and optimizing the success of targeted change 

Have a nice day, keep the faith, and stay connected.

Bill Gaw
Business Basics, LLC

P.S. If you haven’t visited my Web site for a while, 
stop by and check out the new look. If your company 
needs help with its copywriting have them contact 
Kevin Nunley at kevin@drnunley.com


"If it’s broke … fix it!" 

The term value stream refers to all the activities 
your organization must do to design, produce, sell and 
deliver its products or services to customers. There 
are often several value streams operating within a 
company; value streams can also involve more than one 

Value Stream Mapping is used to analyze a process and 
to identify any waste contained within it. The 
production of a Value Stream Map will provide a clear 
picture of where the waste in a particular process is 
located and where your efforts should be targeted 
first. Value stream mapping can be applied to all 
areas of the value chain not just on the factory floor, 
and is very useful for identifying opportunities for 
improving lead time and productivity in both the 
physical product and information flows.


A value stream map uses simple graphics to show the 
sequence and movement of information, materials, and 
action in your company's value stream. Value stream 
mapping helps employees understand how the separate 
parts of their company's value stream combine to 
create products or services.

Owners of the processes under examination should 
produce the Value Stream Map. Willing operators should 
be assembled into a Kaizen Team who should first carry 
out the mapping process and then devise ways to remove 
the waste identified from the process. Assistance 
should be given to the team as and when required.

Value stream mapping is the first step your company 
should take in creating an overall lean-initiative 
plan. A lean initiative should begin with agreement 
among employees on the current state of your 
organization. Developing a visual map of the value 
stream allows everyone to fully understand and agree 
on how value is produced and where waste occurs.


Creating a value stream map also provides the following 

* Identifies activities and information that impacts 
the lead-time of your value stream.
* Improves the decision-making process of all work 
teams by helping team members to understand and 
accept your company's current practices and future 
* Creates a common language and understanding among 
employees through the use of standard value stream 
mapping symbols.
* Provides a way for employees to easily identify and 
eliminate areas of waste.


The map for a lean initiative success consists of the 
work processes your organization uses to create and 
transport goods and services to its customers, whether 
those customers are inside the organization (as in 
another department, division, site, etc.) or outside 
the business (someone who purchases or uses your 
organization's products and services). 

Thus, the map you use for a lean initiative must focus 
on the work processes that make up your organization.
Value stream mapping should employ three tools that 
help make work visible: relationship maps, cross-
functional process maps, and flowcharts.

RELATIONSHIP MAPS show the customer-supplier 
relationships or linkages that exist between parts of 
an organization. Though they are most often used to 
show the big-picture view that portrays how the major 
function of the business interact with one another, 
you can draw a relationship map for any level of the 

CROSS-FUNCTIONAL PROCESS MAPS show how an organization's 
major work processes cut across several functions. 
This type of map reveals what goes on inside the black 
box of the organization's functions, and shows the 
sequence of steps that make up the work process, as well 
as the inputs and outputs associated with each process 
step. You can draw a cross functional process map for 
any level of the organization as will.

FLOWCHARTS are perhaps the best-known tool for 
illustrating work processes. Flowcharting has long been 
used to define, document, and analyze processes, 
particularly at the most detailed level---that of the 
individual performing the work, or to develop procedures 
for accomplishing a specific job responsibility.
Other Applications

Maps and flowcharts can be used to show how you want 
work to be done in your organization. By examining a 
map of current process performance in light of 
customer requirements and data on sources of customer-
perceived value, you can draw a different picture to
help you illustrate the pathways you will create to 
provide value to your customers. Thus maps are also 
important prerequisites to successful organization 
design, process reengineering, or benchmarking projects.



Last year, we offered our subscribers a "Get Lean or 
Leaner Package." This package combined the Kaizen Based 
Lean Manufacturing e-Tutorial with a special "Value 
Stream Mapping" PowerPoint presentation. 

As a BB&BP subscriber, you can still obtain the "Get 
Lean or Leaner Package" at the special price. To check 
out this special offer, GO TO:


If you're interested in only the Value Stream Mapping 
Training Module, GO TO:


Remember, it's time to get serious about getting lean 
or leaner. Don't wait until outsourcing catches up to 
you. You have a great opportunity to get the jump on 
your competition, gain market share and preserve jobs 
if you get lean or leaner ... now!

To preview twenty 1-2 hours PowerPoint® Training Presentations on CDs with expert commentary by Bill Gaw, click below:

World Class Manufacturing Training


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West Coast: 760-945-5596

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6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
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