Value stream mapping

The term Value stream mapping, often abbreviated to VSM, refers to a technique or tool used to map a process and label the activities it contains as waste, customer value add or business value add, with the purpose of learning where improvements can be made. A current state value stream map exists to map the process as it is currently, whereas a future state value stream map is made to design an improved or ideal version of the process.

Value stream mapping originates from the Toyota Production System, although it was not called that at the time.

Value stream mapping is employed primarily in Lean Management methodologies, but is also used in Lean Six Sigma. Traditionally it keeps to a standard format, such as the one envisioned by Shigeo Shingo. However, modern interpretations, especially ones formatted to be employed in a service context, are often more free format and can for example be made out of brown paper and post-it notes.

Would you like to learn more about Value Stream Mapping? Take a look at our Online Value Stream Mapping Course

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