Value Stream Mapping Tutorial

What is Value Stream Mapping ?

Value-stream mapping is a lean-management method for analyzing the current state and designing a future state for the series of events that take a product or service from its beginning through to the customer with reduced lean wastes as compared to current map. In other words, a value stream focuses on areas of a firm that add value to a product or service, whereas a value chain refers to all of the activities within a company.

Applications of Value Stream Mapping

Value-stream mapping has supporting methods that are often used in Lean environments to analyze and design flows at the system level (across multiple processes).
Although value-stream mapping is often associated with manufacturing, it is also used in other industries such as:

  • Supply chain,
  • Service related industries,
  • Healthcare,
  • Software development,
  • Product development,
  • Administrative and office processes.

Value Added vs Non Value Added Time

Most manufacturers try to eliminate all unnecessary production costs and wasted time. This makes their production lines leaner and also makes customers happier. Companies can provide better products at a cheaper price if they run production operations smoothly and efficiently. One way managers measure the efficiency of the production line is by looking at the cycle time.

Example Electronic Widget

Type of Waste

Daniel T. Jones (1995) identifies seven commonly accepted types of waste. These terms are updated from the Toyota production system (TPS)’s original nomenclature:

  1. Waiting: any time goods are not being transported or worked on.
  2. Conveyance: the process by which goods are moved around. Previously referred to as transport, and includes double-handling and excessive movement.
  3. Processing: an overly complex solution for a simple procedure. Previously referred to as inappropriate processing, and includes unsafe production. This typically leads to poor layout and communication, and unnecessary motion.
  4. Excess Stock: an overabundance of inventory which results in greater lead times, increased difficulty identifying problems, and significant storage costs. Previously referred to as unnecessary inventory.
  5. Unnecessary motion: ergonomic waste that requires employees to use excess energy such as picking up objects, bending, or stretching. Previously referred to as unnecessary movements, and usually avoidable.
  6. Correction of mistakes: any cost associated with defects or the resources required to correct them.

Looking For Value Stream Mapping Software?

I recommend a good tool for creating (VSM) diagram. Visual Paradigm Online makes it easy and quick to create professional value stream mapping. The value stream mapping tool comes with a rich set of value stream mapping symbols. Combining with the drag-and-drop VSM editor and powerful feature set, you can create professional value stream maps easily.

Simple editing

  • Develop value stream mapping easily with drag-and-drop and mouse clicks. Use alignment guide to position shapes precisely when dragging.

Easy collaboration

  • Team members can draw collaboratively and simultaneously. They can even edit on the same diagram without ruining others’ work.

Multiple output formats

  • Share your diagrams with co-workers and friends by exporting diagrams into images (PNG, JPG, SVG, GIF) or PDF.


  • Instead of copying and pasting static images, embed your value stream mapping in MS applications. Word, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook are supported.


  • Create a palette consisting of your stencils in image formats (e.g. SVG, JPG, PNG, etc) and use them in your design.

Create Visual Stream Mapping Diagram

VP Online offers a rich set of professionally-designed value stream mapping templates that make you instantly productive. Following are few of them. Click on a template to view it, or click Edit to start editing — no prior registration required!

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