Value Stream Mapping

Making Improvements That Add Value

Value Stream Mapping

What adds value for the customer?

© iStockphoto/ugurbariskan

Organizations continually strive for lean and efficient operations.

Particularly in the current economic climate, your company may ask you to find opportunities for lean improvement in your department or area, so that you can deliver the same value to the customer at lower cost to your organization.

However, it can be a challenge identifying where these opportunities are.

For example, you may know that you need to improve your production process, because products are coming back with defects. In that situation, what do you need to do to improve quality? One option is to put more resources into physical inspections. But will that solve the problem, or will it just add cost to a process that's flawed somewhere else?

Process Improvement

Process improvement is successful only when you address the underlying problem. A useful way of improving processes successfully is to use a lean manufacturing technique called Value Stream Mapping (VSM). It originated at car manufacturer Toyota, where they called it 'material and information flow mapping.' VSM is now widely used in a variety of industries as a way of identifying improvement projects.

The basic idea behind Value Stream Mapping is this:

Access the Full Article

This resource is only available in full within the Mind Tools Club.

Learn More and Join Today

Already a Club member? Log in to finish this article.
Add this article to My Learning Plan

Where to go from here:

Join the Mind Tools Club

Click to join Mind Tools
Printer-friendly version
Return to the top of the page

Your Score
Create a Login to Save Your Learning Plan

This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.

Connect with…

Or create a Mind Tools login. Existing user? Log in here.
Log in with your existing Mind Tools details
Lost Username or Password
You are now logged in…

Lost username or password?

Please enter your username or email address and we'll send you a reminder.

Thank You!

Your log in details have been sent to the email account you registered with. Please check your email to reset your login details.

Create a Mind Tools Login
Your plan has been created.

While you're here, subscribe to our FREE newsletter?

Learn a new career skill every week, and get our Personal Development Plan workbook (worth $19.99) when you subscribe.

Thank You!

Please check your Inbox, and click on the link in the email from us. We can then send you the newsletter.