Value Stream Mapping (VSM or value stream map) creates a complete image of a particular process. It is a lean tool that can be extremely powerful for organizations.
Improving business processes is a top priority for many companies around the world. Doing so requires technological tools that help identify where in the workflow problems are occurring so that organizations can implement improvement strategies.
Solutions and tools such as VSM currently help companies to reduce costs, understand the operation of their internal value chains, and find inconveniences that are possibly affecting work processes.
What is Value Stream Mapping?
Value Stream Mapping is a tool for recognizing potential sources of lost value in production processes. It helps companies improve important activities and abandon those that do not add value to their processes.
Toyota is the company behind the creation of Value Stream Mapping, which was conceived as a powerful visual tool for creating material and information flow maps. These maps make it easier to understand a production system.
Through VSM, companies can analyze their results and make objective decisions to improve their processes, optimize manufacturing productivity, or offer better services.
How to do Value Stream Mapping
Making a good VSM requires covering each stage in the examined process. The idea is to capture all the data gathered throughout the chain. Value stream maps are currently designed with different, purpose-built platforms and technological tools.
When carrying out VSM, it is vital to identify the family of products that you want to analyze in order to later draw the current state of the process. At that point, it is important to establish the current information flow and product flow.
Then, in the analysis stage, it is necessary to consider what the state of the flow should be in the future. It is at this point that processes are redesigned, eliminated, or modified to improve their performance and generate greater value for companies.
Examples of Value Stream Mapping
Currently, there are many organizations that could benefit from VSM. For example, in the health field, this solution would help health organizations and institutions improve the steps involved in treating patients so that their care is more efficient, timely, and profitable.
The key to Value Stream Mapping
According to research published by TechTarget, VSM is a futile exercise unless organizations’ management teams commit to both the diagnosis and treatment phases.
Unfortunately, management teams often provide the budget to conduct VSM only to then not implement the required changes. In the words of Andrey Mihailenko, CEO and co-founder of Targetprocess:
“The whole process stops after the initial work uncovers some areas for improvement, but the changes aren’t made.”
Value Stream Mapping and Process Mining
Process Mining is a process that offers companies alternatives for studying the causes behind delays or bottlenecks. It also allows companies to audit processes and practice quality control. Thanks to Process Mining, we can document a process’s various steps from start to finish.
Additionally, process mining is useful for making business processes transparent.