Value Stream Mapping VSM Study with example Case Study

What is Value Stream Mapping?

→ Value Stream Mapping is a graphical tool that helps us to see and understand the flow of process and information as a product and service.
→ It is an improvement tool that visualizes the entire operation of manufacturing or service representing both material and information flow.
→ It is one of the best Lean Tools to eliminate waste.
→ A value_stream usually includes people, tools and technologies, physical facilities, communication channels, etc...
→ This tool is associated with the manufacturing industry in major cases.
→ It can also be applied in various industries like Product development and service-related industries: e.g. healthcare, insurance, hospitality, logistics, etc…
→ VSM Study is one of the important in the Lean Six Sigma Project.
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→ T. Ohno from Toyota Production gave the concept of a Value_Stream_Mapping in 1988.
→ It was introduced as 'Material and Information Flow Mapping’.
→ Later it is named Value_Stream_Mapping by John Shook and Mike Rother.
→ Value_Stream_Mapping puts all the information in one place and it is a very much effective method as compared to other tools.
→ This tool is also used in Six Sigma Projects.

What is Value?

→ "Value" is a product or service that the customer is buying.
→ It is the capability to provide a product or a service having the highest quality, at an appropriate price, and at the right_time as defined by the customer.
→ Customer’s expectation of value may be, price, quality, reliable delivery, rapid response to changing needs, etc.……

What is a Value Stream?

→ “Value Stream” is to identify the wasteful activity from the system and eliminate it from the system.
→ This happens by checking all_small activities from start to end which is necessary to convert all_input into an output.
→ The value chain refers to all of the activities within an organization.
→ While a Value_Stream focuses on that activity that adds value in a service or in a product.
Value Stream Mapping Training Presentation

Different things flow through the Stream:

→ In manufacturing or distribution, materials flow.
→ Patient flow in health services
→ Information flows in office areas.
→ Internal customer flows in administration.
→ So, in various system services, information, or product flow.

Value Stream Mapping Training Presentation

What is value stream mapping used for?

→ Find out the relationship between operation steps
→ We can get information and also we can have an actual illustration of the current process
→ For setting the improvement targets for the organization
→ Identify improvement opportunity
→ Provide product or service the highest quality, at an appropriate price, and at the right time as defined by the customer
→ Design (concept to a customer)
→ Build (order to delivery)
→ Sustain (in-use through the life cycle to service)

Value Stream Mapping Objectives:

→ To identify improvement possibilities in the entire operation flow and supply chain.
→ By eliminating lean wastes and improve the performances.
→ To improve efficiency.
→ Satisfy our customers with our service.
→ Performance improvement of the operation.

Team Members and Roles in VSM Study Project:

  1. Executive Sponsor
  2. Process Owner
  3. VSM Coach (Facilitator)
  4. Workshop/office Participants

[1] Executive Sponsor:
→ Executive Sponsor is the owner of the Charter
→ He/She decide the team members for the project
→ Executive Sponsor is responsible for ensuring the member's participation.
→ Ongoing project status is presented by the Executive Sponsor.
→ He/She takes part in define the scope, start the project, Active team member of review, audit & follow-ups committee

[2] Process Owner:
→ They are responsible for the whole operation flow and they lead the VSM_project from beginning to end.
→ They take ownership during the VSM_event
→ All_meetings, progress, and MOMs are maintained by the Process_Owner.
→ Ensures action item pre-work is complete for scoping, workshop/office, and reviews
→ Conduct the review of the implementation plan at a certain interval.
→ He/She gives information to sponsor about the progress of the project.

[3] VSM Coach:
→ VSM coach provides coaching to Process_Owner and the team.
→ He/She is responsible for defining the scope of the project.
→ Gives training to the VSM_team and give coaching to the team.
→ VSM_Coach gives training on Lean Manufacturing to the team.
→ Provide training on lean skills to all_participants.

[4] Workshop/office Participants:
→ Participate in the VSM project as a Subject Matter Expert (SME)
→ All_Workshop/office Participants are responsible for the operation_steps.
→ They support the VSM_project successfully run.

How to create a Value Stream Map?

→ It is a team exercise so all_department representatives should participate in this event.
→ This project should be lead by the expert and can guide other team members for the successful project.
→ The best method of making Value_Stream_Mapping is by hand using a pencil and A3 drawing sheet.
→ During creating the process_map all_participants should be involved in this activity is always a better decision.
→ Begin with a quick walk through the entire operation
→ Always trust on your own taken data
→ Map the whole operation flow yourself.

Value Stream Mapping Steps

  1. Gather Data & Information
  2. Create a Current_State Map
  3. Future_State Map & Action Plans
  4. Execute the Plan
  5. Align
Value Stream Mapping Process Steps

Value Stream Mapping Case Study | Examples

Step 1 - Gather Data and Information:

→ Gather_Information:
→ Define the start & end of the operation_flow
→ Define the criteria for data collection
→ Walk and observe the actual workplace
→ Take all the information_related to each and every step.
→ Measure actual lead_time, actual cycle_time, on-time delivery rate, and defect rate, etc...

Step 2 - Create a Current State Map

→ Record the detail about the current_flow material or information.
→ Make an analysis of the data
→ In the current_state of the VSM_study, we have to mention the actual readings or data of the operation_flow.
→ In this stage, we do not have to worry about the future of the process.
→ We have to mention just as the process is and it should show the real picture of the ongoing operation_flow.
→ Then after we can check the possibility of improvement.

Value Stream Mapping Symbols

→ We need to understand the symbols that are using in the VSM study that is mentioned below.
→ The different symbols are used for a different activity that is mentioned in the below picture.
→ By using these symbols we can make a more clear understanding of the process.

VSM Study Symbols 01

VSM Study Symbols 02

Collecting Data and Time Studies in VSM Study:

→ This is a very important step in the entire study.
→ There are a few ways in which we get_information.
→ First, we get the data directly from the industry by contacting all relevant personnel.
→ Take the operation sequence_flow and work instruction data from the company, as well as observed.
→ The process in actual, and conduct own time_studies to get exact_information about the processing time.
→ During the walk carefully observe all operation steps and ask as many as possible questions.
→ And collect all data related to that operation.

Examples of data required in this study:

→ No. of work in progress
→ Cycle Times for each operation
→ Inspection or testing_time
→ Check for the wasteful activity
→ Waiting_time and working_time etc…

Process Steps in VSM Study:

→ Mention the process_flow as actual it is.
→ Write down all operation steps in the format box and add all data in this box.
→ Note down inventory days, delay time, wait time, and working time
→ Then calculate all working time and waiting time.
→ Find out the Process Cycle Efficiency as calculation mentioned in the below picture.

Analysis of the Current State Map:

→ The current_state map is a way of saying “what happens now” or the “as-is”.
→ It should provide all process-related_information like how the items are being processed and what happens in each step?
→ This information_helps us to find out the root cause of problems.
→ So we can improve our operation flow by eliminating the root cause.
→ And we can improve the operation efficiency, reliability, and flexibility.

Create a Current State Map

Step 3 – Future State Map & Action Plans:

→ Discuss the ideal_state
→ Develop the future_state map & action plan
→ Build a draft timeline for implementation
→ Communication & training as required

Creating an Ideal and Future State

→ Define what we want to achieve the target so that we can focus our efforts on achieving our future State.
→ The expert should create an ideal state map for the operation flow.
→ The simplest way to achieve the target is to plan a series of improvements and divide into various lean events like 5S Methodology, Do-it, Burst, Kaizen Event, and Project.
→ We can highlight the improvement opportunity by using a kaizen burst symbol on our current state map.

Creating an Ideal and Future State Map

Analysis of Future State Map:

→ In the future state, map analyzes and reduces the waiting time, so overall time will decrease and performance will increase.
→ By using a Pareto chart or ABC analysis we can easily find our the bottleneck area where we have to work on a priority basis.
→ Then take any bottlenecked_process and further analyze on a micro basis, find out the improvement scope, and eliminate the wastes.

Analysis of Future State Map

Step 4 – Execute the Plan:

→ Implement improvements
→ Conduct Workshops, events, projects, bursts per the implementation plan
→ Achieve value stream objectives
→ Create an environment of Continuous Improvement or Kaizen.
→ During the execution of the plan eliminate all wasteful activity from the system or process flow.

Step 5 – Align & Analysis of Current and Future State:

→ Arrange analysis and alignment meeting
→ Periodic basis (based on action plan schedule)
→ Review event implementations & results
→ Evaluate the impact to value stream metrics (individual events and overall)
→ Review next quarter events
→ Inspect changes in a business environment
→ Communicate results
→ Update implementation plan as required
→ Address resistance and sustainment issues

Analysis of Current State and Future State

Keys Points for Successful VSM Study:

→ Select the right person in the VSM project_team.
→ Give specific decision-making authority to the team member for a successful project run.
→ All team members give their participants effectively and efficiently.
→ Always attack the process, Don't attack people
→ Frequently analyze the progress of the project and motivate people for a successful project.

👉 See Also:


  1. One Question. What do you do when you have a process that splits? Do you make different VSMs for each split or can you combine them on 1 VSM?

    1. I would add them to the same VSM. In very complex process that are running in parallel but at different at different timeframes, draw them out as if they were in unique swim lanes.

    2. We can make it separate for easy work as compared to make it as a one complex process.

  2. Thanks for this, let say you are actually dealing with a work station and you have a lead time of 3 days in X section, and your observed inventory states that (i) you normally send the machine to an outsider to work on it for 3 days and (ii) It uses 6 days of X sections at YYY, does that imply that when calculating the inventory time, we should use 6 instead of 3? or do we use 3 and 6?

  3. Great article…easy to understand..thanks Nikunj

  4. Muy ilustrativos sus temas y ejemplos, gracias.

  5. Hi how does the animation of VSM was created? Any tool available in the market that we can purchase to create similar animation?


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