Value Stream Mapping


Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a technique that can be employed to not only provide a visual representation of a procedure, but also have the potential to identify significant savings in the way in which the process is organised and performed. 

The technique is often associated with Lean programmes to identify opportunities for improvement in lead time, logistics, supply chain, service related industries, healthcare, software development and product development.  It is used to analyse the flow of material and information required to bring a product or service to a customer. The technique originated in Toyota, where it is known as "Material and Information Flow Mapping".


Drawn correctly the VS Maps can be used to represent the value-adding and non-value-adding activities.

  • Valued added activity being; adding value to the product or service. Something the customer is willing to pay for, such as higher performance, more features, quicker or more responsive delivery.
  • Non-value adding activities being; not adding value to the product or service. Something the customer is unwilling to pay for, such as business process with no competitive advantage, activities which result in mistakes, errors or non-conformance. It can include activities such as training.

Organisations are full of processes, not only manufacturing processes but processes for purchasing, warehousing, handling orders etc. These processes can involve moving and manipulating data and information (service industries) as much as material (manufacturing industries).

They can also involve various departments and specialists in completing tasks and activities, making decisions, filling out forms, filing and retrieving information. The processes can also involve complex parallel and serial activities, interconnected and dependant on tasks being completed satisfactorily. Very often these processes have evolved as the organisation has grown, sometimes keeping pace, sometimes overwhelmed by the sheer size of the organisational growth. To solve growth problems - such as maintaining the throughput, quick fix solutions may be used e.g. increasing the labour resource rather than improving or overhauling the process. Sometimes this can just make the situation worse. (If it takes one man one day to dig a hole - then one hundred men can dig the hole in one hundredth of the time - Oh I wish!).

In other words increasing the labour resource again will not necessarily result in quicker throughput. Some jobs just cannot be done by more than one person. Not only can processes be very complex and involved, but they can also be very inefficient; responsibility, ownership can be unclear. This is because it can be very difficult to understand, control and manage all the tasks involved in a process from start to finish.

Training Courses

Other Information Sources:

Tools & Techniques - D3



Value Stream Mapping Support

Value Stream Map 1 Value Stream Map 2

Our experienced and knowledgeable staff have frequently been requested to carry out Value Stream Mapping exercises, which have resulted in very significant saving for the organisations involved.

Also QM&T's unique post course assignment approach has yielded huge savings for organisations.

Post Course Assignment & Support: Following the course the delegates are encouraged to complete a Value Stream Mapping work based assignment.  Successful completion of this assignment is necessary for the delegates to receive their QM&T Value Stream Mapping practitioner certificate.  Throughout this period (typically one month) support is provided from a QM&T recognised Value Stream Mapping professional. Case study material available on request.

For further information about Value Stream Mapping please contact us using the following details.

For further information

If you would like to know more about Value Stream Mapping please contact us at:

Telephone:   + 44 -0 1483 453511
Fax:  + 44 -0 1483 453512


 Quality Management & Training Limited PO Box 172, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7FN United Kingdom



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© Quality Management & Training Limited updated: 15 October 2009
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