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  • Value Stream Mapping: What, Why, and How

    September 26, 2023 2 min read

    Value Stream Mapping: What, Why, and How

    What is Value Stream Mapping? 

    Imagine a tool that visually captures the journey of a product or service from inception to delivery. That's what value stream mapping (VSM) is all about. It's like a flowchart, painting a picture of all the people, processes, and pieces of information involved. Laying everything out for the business visually, it highlights bottlenecks, redundancies, and areas of waste, setting the stage for optimization. 

    Why Should Businesses Care? 

    1. Crystal Clear Communication: VSM fosters open channels and promotes teamwork. Everyone's on the same page, literally!
    2. Continuous Evolution: With VSM, there's always room for improvement. It's a tool that encourages an ongoing quest for perfection.
    3. A Cultural Shift: Embracing VSM can drive a change in organizational culture, steering it towards leaner, more efficient operations.
    4. Spotting the Snags: Delays, excess inventory, production constraints - VSM highlights them all, offering a roadmap to smoother operations.

    Remember Toyota? Their revolutionary approach to car manufacturing 70 years ago laid the groundwork for modern VSM. They emphasized quality, speed, and efficiency principles that are more relevant than ever in today's competitive business landscape. 

    Key Takeaway: VSM is not just about process improvement; it's about delivering unparalleled value to the customer. 

    How to Get Started with VSM? 

    Step 1: Gather the Troops: Before you start, get all stakeholders on board. This includes everyone involved in the process you're mapping. 

    Step 2: Choose Your Tools: Whether it's pen and paper, or software like QualiWare add-on CBP (Collaborative Business Planning)-Collaborative Business Planning (CBP) - Software - CloseReach, pick what works best for your team. 

    Step 3: Map It Out: Start with the current state of your process. Where are the delays? What's causing the hold-ups? Lay it all out. 

    Step 4: Dream Big: Once you've mapped the current state, envision the ideal future state. What changes can drive efficiency? 

    Step 5: Implement and Review: Make the necessary changes and regularly review the process. Remember, VSM is about continuous improvement. 

    Key Takeaway: VSM is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. It's a continuous cycle of mapping, implementing, and reviewing. 

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