Value Stream Mapping






Value Stream Mapping



An observation from Toyota:


• “Brilliant process management is our strategy”


• “We get brilliant results from average people managing brilliant processes”


We notice that


• “… our competitors often get average (or worse) results from brilliant people managing broken processes.”




Get the overview and change for the better!



Why Value Stream Mapping?



Have you ever bought a new computer? You remember the speed and accuracy with which it worked

when it was fresh out of the box? A couple of years on, you’ve had new downloads, suffered numerous

‘patches’ but the programme still runs. How efficient is it now? Has the performance tailed off?




Like computer programmes, our business processes can start off being very slick, but soon become

bogged down by doing ‘stuff’; unnecessary reports, re-formatting documents, re-keying information,

getting approvals etc… which whilst not wrong, do not make for an efficient way of working.



Value Stream Mapping can help you



A value stream involves all the steps, both value added and non value added, required to complete

a product or service from beginning to end. It’s simply a visual Representation of a Value Stream.



• Pencil & Paper Tool – no great technology needed

• Engages the right people

• Helps Reveal Waste & Problems with Flow

• Establishes a common language to document processes

• Provides a blueprint for improvement and is a visual tool to reveal hidden waste



Value Stream Mapping – a tool to achieve Transactional Lean thinking



Complex organizations are tend to be organized around ‘silos’ – that is, design, engineering, finance,

manufacturing, sales and marketing etc… Our processes however (let’s call them Value Streams)

often cut across the different functions – not neatly organized in the same silos as your company

and so often they have no natural owner.



Value Stream Maps tell us where to apply waste elimination techniques to achieve improvements in Flow.

Our experience demonstrates that learnings from the production line translate extremely well into the

Administrative environment. Office work is not measured be the same standards as other business

in the company.


• Performance metrics are not widely used


• Process outputs may be measured


• Effectiveness and efficiency are not!


The opportunity for reducing administrative waste is consistently greater than40%. That is, 40% less people

in the office are needed, 40% reduction in office rental costs, heating/lighting etc… and it’s probable that your

employees will be more positive and better motivated too.



VSM differs from standard Process mapping by adding another dimension; not just mapping the process steps,

but also the information flows and the interactions between team members too. It allows all team members to

see where their contribution to the process fits, and enables them to increase the value they add.



How does it work? Value Stream Mapping workshops typically take 2-3 days, depending on the size of the

stakeholder group, the complexity of the process etc. It employs the key stakeholders working as a team to:



Document the customer information and need. Who is the customer? What do they need? When do they need it?


Identify the main processes in order and select data characteristics. We tend to look for a minimum of

Process Time (time spent adding value), Wait Time (time spent between processes where no value is being added)

and First Time Quality (the percentage of time you can move to the next step without needing to go back for re-work).

Depending on the process type, you could use space, money, time etc…


Current state validation – ‘Walk through’ the Value Stream Map. Establish how each process knows what to

process next (how work is prioritized) and document information flow


Calculate process time, wait time, lead time, first time quality, and any other metrics necessary to evaluate

your Value Stream. The importance of this is to come up with an objective measure of the efficiency and

effectiveness resource use for your ‘as is’ process.


Look for the waste in your VSM – identify and brainstorm ways to eliminate the waste.


Starting from basic principles, define how you would design the perfect process.


Contrasting perfection with your current state, what can be changed? Design your new process using Lean

principles eliminating process steps where possible, working in ‘swim lanes’ to achieve efficiencies,

defining documentation and process triggers etc.


Devise your implementation plans and gain leadership agreement


Arrange / conduct follow up meetings to check implementation hurdles / measure your success!



Typical phases of a Value Stream Mapping project




1. Scoping the topic


2-3 sessions. Determine the Value stream to be improved, objectives, SIPOC, logistics, stakeholders ,


in and out of scope etc




2. Detailed current state mapping


Understanding how current things operate. This is the foundation for the future state




3. Detailed future state mapping


Designing a lean flow through the application of Value Stream principles




4. Change planning and action lists


Creation of a change plan and implementing the solutions to eliminate waste




5. Implementation and continous follow up


Disciplined implementation and follow up. control mechanism and implementation follow through




A VSM workshop is minimum two days







Global Skills have extensive experience of VSM in both manufacturing and the administrative environment;

HR processes, Finance, Engineering etc… For more details:








"Processes are made by people that honour each other "