A Value Stream Map is a data-rich process map. The product flow, the process flow, is made visible and supplemented with data and other relevant information. The VSM provides an overview of how a product flows through the process to the customer, it provides insight into the waste and unnecessary process steps.
The translation ‘value stream’ can be misleading. The VSM contains all process steps, including those of which it later appears that this step does not add value to the product.
First of all, you decide which process you want to take a closer look at. Which process is not going well and needs to be improved?
A VSM is built in a number of steps:
The current process has now been mapped, this is called the current state. This is the routing a product is following at the moment. It is a visual representation of the process including material and information flows. Sources of waste are shown, such as stock and waiting time.
The places of waste are places where, after a good analysis, improvements can be made.
You then map out the ideal VSM. One where the product flows through the process without waste. This is called the future state of the VSM.
This is followed by the preparation and implementation of an improvement plan to arrive at the future state of the VSM.
All employees in the process have the same overview of the process. It has become a collaborative process. Together, the step towards an improved process can now be taken.