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What is Value Stream Mapping(VSM)? Steps and Benefits

In this blog, we’ll walk you through the process of making a VSM and discuss all the advantages it offers, from enhanced productivity and quality to lower costs and higher customer satisfaction. Let’s start now!

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Definition of Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

VSM is a technique for evaluating the current state of a process and creating a future state that produces the intended outcomes. VSM is a visual tool that aids in the identification and elimination of waste, shortening lead times, and improvement of quality. The current condition of a process is mapped out using VSM, along with the waste that can be found and ways in which the process can be made better.

Brief History and Evolution of VSM

Toyota introduced VSM in the late 1980s as a component of its lean manufacturing methodology. Toyota employed VSM to find waste in their manufacturing processes and to get rid of activities that added no value. The objective was to increase productivity and streamline their production process.

The authors of “Learning to See: Value Stream Mapping to Add Value and Eliminate MUDA,” Mike Rother and John Shook, expanded on the idea of VSM. The book not only highlighted the advantages of utilizing VSM to discover waste and increase efficiency but also offered a helpful manual for applying VSM to manufacturing operations.

Since then, organizations across a range of industries have started using VSM as a tool for continuous improvement. Besides industrial processes, it incorporates additional types of processes, including administrative and service processes.

VSM is a tool that is frequently used nowadays to find waste and boost productivity in businesses. It is a crucial part of the lean manufacturing and Six Sigma processes and has been embraced by businesses all over the world as a vital instrument for ongoing development.

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Why is VSM Important?

Why is VSM Important

VSM is a crucial tool for businesses, looking to streamline operations, save waste, and boost productivity. Organizations are able to spot areas for development and create a future state that produces the results they are looking for by visualizing the flow of materials and information through their production process.

The VSM process is crucial for a number of reasons, some of which are enumerated below:

How to Create a Value Stream Map?

How to Create a Value Stream Map

A collaborative effort from many stakeholders is necessary to create a VSM. To guarantee that the VSM accurately depicts the process and finds chances for improvement, it is crucial to involve the people who are directly involved in it, such as operators, supervisors, and managers.

To develop a VSM, follow the general instructions given below.

Step 1 – Define the Scope
Determining the scope of the process that you wish to map is the first step when constructing a VSM. Identifying the beginning, middle, and end, as well as the boundaries, of the process is necessary.

Step 2 – Map the Current State
The present condition of the process must be mapped out as the next phase. This comprises constructing a visual depiction, showing the movement of resources, knowledge, and actions through the procedure. To depict the various process components, including inventories, transportation, workstations, symbols, and icons can be used.

Step 3 – Identify Waste
After mapping the current state, the following step is to pinpoint any process waste. This comprises non-value-added tasks like waiting, excess manufacturing, and stockpiling.

Step 4 – Design the Future State
The next stage is to design the future stage of the process, based on the existing situation, as well as the waste that has been located. This entails redesigning the visual representation of the process to cut out waste and boost effectiveness.

Step 5 – Create an Action Plan 
Following the designing of the future state is the creation of an action plan for carrying out the modifications. This includes determining the required resources, establishing deadlines, and distributing duties.

Step 6 – Implement Changes and Track Advancement 
The last phase is to put these changes into practice while keeping track of the advancement. This entails monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effects of the changes and continuing to make improvements to the process.

By following these steps, organizations can gain a holistic understanding of their value streams, identify areas for improvement, and implement changes that optimize efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance customer satisfaction. Value Stream Mapping enables a structured approach to continuous improvement and helps organizations achieve their operational goals.

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Benefits of Using VSM

The benefits of using VSM include the following:

VSM is a potent instrument that aids businesses in streamlining operations, cutting waste, and boosting productivity. It is a crucial part of lean manufacturing and Six Sigma processes and has been embraced by businesses all over the world as a vital instrument for ongoing development.

Value Stream Mapping Examples

VSM can be availed for any process entailing a flow of materials, information, or activities. Identifying waste and inefficiencies aids organizations to improve their processes, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

There are many examples of VSM that organizations can use to identify waste and improve efficiency. Given below are a few examples.

Why Value Stream Mapping is Effective for Knowledge Work?

This powerful instrument can help streamline knowledge work processes, cut down waste, and boost productivity. Organizations can spot opportunities for development and create a future state that produces the desired results by visualizing the flow of work and information.

Knowledge work benefits from VSM because it aids in visualizing the flow of work and information, which can be intricate and challenging to monitor. Here are some explanations as to why VSM works well in knowledge work:


To sum up, VSM is an effective method for assisting businesses in locating waste and inefficiencies in their processes. Companies may streamline their operations, lower costs, and boost customer satisfaction by mapping the movement of supplies, information, and activities. Your organization can develop a VSM that precisely reflects your operations and finds opportunities for improvement by using the procedures described in this article. Then why wait? Start your VSM journey right away, and discover the advantages it can have for your business.

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