Use a value stream map to illustrate the flow of materials and
information as a product or service moves through the value stream.
Watch this video to learn more:
A value stream is the collection of all activities, both value-added and
non-value added, that generate a product or service required to meet customer
needs. A current state value stream map identifies waste and helps you to
envision an improved future state.
The current state map answers the following questions:
What does the actual process
look like at the beginning of the project?
Where does the process start
and where does it end?
How does value flow through
What steps in the process add
value and what steps do not add value?
What is the relationship
between information flow and material flow?
What is the average cycle time
through the process?
What level of inventory is
held within the process and where is it located?
What are the sources of the
waste in the value stream?
What areas of the process need
the most improvement?
The future state map answers the following questions:
Where will you need
supermarket pull systems to control upstream processes?
Where can you use continuous
When will you schedule
How will you level the
How can you simplify or
eliminate any steps in the process?
What does the actual process
look like at the end of the project?
When to Use
Start of project
Gather information to identify the steps and the related data that
help you develop the current state map.
Identify ideas for the future state map.
End of project
Implement the future state so it becomes the current
As the future state becomes the current state, create a new future
state map and implement a plan to achieve it.
Your data requirements must include complete knowledge of the existing
process and customer demand, cycle and lead times, inventories, and the path
and timing of information flows.
Begin the value stream
mapping process with customer requirements. It is important to have a clear
understanding of what value means to the customer.
Capture the process as it
operates at this moment, not how it was originally designed to operate or how
it should operate.
Assign a value stream map
manager to lead the mapping effort.
Walk through the process to
ensure that the flow of materials and information is accurate.
Focus on one small step at a
time. You can use a stopwatch to obtain cycle times.
Identify critical paths and
Create a future state map
from the current state map. There will always be a future state map. This
continuous improvement is a major focus of the value stream map.
If possible, limit the
improvement plan to achieve the future state to a one page document.
Focus on individual areas to
implement the improvement plan quickly. Update the future state map as you
implement the plan.
Determine where the process starts and where it ends. When you walk the
process to document the current state, note the wastes that help you create a
future state map.
Select a product family.
(Optional) Create a project
charter to gain management support and provide focus for the team.
Select a value stream map
manager to lead the mapping effort. The value stream map manager should draw
the entire value stream map even if a team is involved in the project. This
ensures that the manager understands the material and information flows.
Identify the customers of
the process (both internal and final).
(Optional) Create a SIPOC
that clearly defines the scope of the process and identify any issues that are
observed in the process, the components that are outside the scope of the
mapping effort, and the high-level benefits.
Determine customer demands
in terms of product and service quantity, quality, and delivery.
Begin at the end of the
process and work upstream to gather details about each step in the process,
such as cycle time, inventory, machine uptime, distance to adjacent steps,
defect information, changeover frequency, and changeover time.
Create a current state map
possibly on a laptop as you walk the process.
With the process documented,
you can divide the value stream into logical subsections based on key internal
outputs, skills, or operational locations.
Create the future state map.
Implement your plan to
achieve the future state. A new current state emerges, along with the need to
draw a new future state map in a cycle of continuous improvement.