Value Stream Mapping & Improvement

A value stream in a business context is the sequenced flow of activities followed in a company to change raw materials or information into products or services that offer customers their desired value. To achieve lean operations in an organization, the organization needs to understand its value stream and have a documented version of its current value stream map.


How a Value Stream Works

A company’s value stream includes the supply chain to obtain the materials, a series of steps necessary to change the information or materials, and post-sale support and service. Mapping the value stream provides companies with a documented road map to identify and address problems during the process. In a lean manufacturing organization, this could include the overall sales, production, and distribution of goods.

Number of Modules: 2  / Approximate run time: 60 minutes

Benefits of Mapping a Value Stream

In a lean organization, team members may hold opinions based on an incomplete view of the process. Mapping the value stream increases their knowledge of how upstream and downstream processes impact their work. 

Value stream mapping records facts and observations and delivers a holistic view of the process that identifies the gap between reality and the ideal state. This helps stakeholders arrive at a common understanding of the lean process improvements needed to achieve operational excellence. 

Mapping simplifies the flow path, enabling you to view the risks and challenges in the process to resolve these. The mapping process also aligns with the actions of all team members, which ensures everyone is working towards the same ideal state.

Developing and Managing an Improvement Plan

To develop a value stream improvement plan, lean organizations first need to identify the ideal state and compare it to the map of the current state. This enables you to uncover areas where you can implement improvements, such as, achieve continuous flow, reduce the time it takes to perform certain aspects of the process, potentially decrease costs, and implement other process improvements. You’ll be able to identify barriers to achieving these results and determine where to focus your process improvement efforts for maximum benefit.

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the Value Stream Mapping and Improvement process. Throughout this two-part training, we will explore how to examine and improve the organization’s flow of material and information. We will learn how to build and analyze a value stream using a unique methodology to structure your improvement efforts.

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