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Finding Value

published on June 10, 2011

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a useful tool for every business and you don’t have to be focused on lean to reap the benefits. VSM puts your process on paper and helps you identify the areas that can be improved. If you have a flawless process, congratulations!  Chances are that state of perfection does not exist in reality and even really good process need to be monitored for their effectiveness. As customer needs and responses change, so should your process.

What does it Look Like?

 

 

 

*I used an illustration for Wide Wake Developers to highlight the VSM process, this example is not overly complicated and the linear design makes it easy to follow. As you get more proficient in VSM, you can use the more complicated models but for beginners this is a really good example.

VSM starts with one process, it’s typically production control in manufacturing but business services can benefit from VSM as well.  So let’s go through the steps:

Step 1-Pick a Single Process

Step 2- Map out the current process steps, the path of information flows and the time frame for each step. In English that means on paper write out how a process occurs, who knows about it and how long it takes.

Step 3- Look for waste and duplications. Once you have mapped the process and information flows, areas of improvement become very clear.  Use your expert eye to spot areas that could be improved or eliminated completely.

Step 4- Create a future VSM.  This sounds counterintuitive; most people think “If I knew the right way, I wouldn’t need to draw a VSM”.  You can do this, the future VSM is the process with the waste and the duplications eliminated. That’s it-no more, no less.

Step 5- Implement the changes highlighted in the VSM. Now this is the hard part because with any change comes resistance on some level. Some resistance is tangible and some is passive aggressive. You will need to be vigilant about championing the change

illustration for Wide Wake Developers to highlight the VSM process, this example is not overly complicated and the linear design makes it easy to follow. As you get more proficient in VSM, you can use the more complicated models but for beginners this is a really good example.

VSM starts with one process, it’s typically production control in manufacturing but business services can benefit from VSM as well.  So let’s go through the steps:

Step 1-Pick a Single Process

Step 2- Map out the current process steps, the path of information flows and the time frame for each step. In English that means on paper write out how a process occurs, who knows about it and how long it takes.

Step 3- Look for waste and duplications. Once you have mapped the process and information flows, areas of improvement become very clear.  Use your expert eye to spot areas that could be improved or eliminated completely.

Step 4- Create a future VSM.  This sounds counterintuitive; most people think “If I knew the right way, I wouldn’t need to draw a VSM”.  You can do this, the future VSM is the process with the waste and the duplications eliminated. That’s it-no more, no less.

Step 5- Implement the changes highlighted in the VSM. Now this is the hard part because with any change comes resistance on some level. Some resistance is tangible and some is passive aggressive. You will need to be vigilant about championing the change

published on June 10, 2011

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