Process & Value Stream Mapping

Which One To Use? 

Why Draw Pictures?

A factory is enormously complex. Only visuals convey enough information to understand the pieces, relationships, hidden waste and time-domain behavior.

Visualization brings a deep understanding and major breakthroughs in productivity and other performance. It leads to consensus on systemic problems and remedies. While finished charts communicate information about a situation, the real value is the mapping itself. This is where insights grow, paradigms shift and consensus builds.

Value Stream and Process Maps take different perspectives, but, the work they visualize is the same. Both have a place

Value Stream Maps

These show major process steps and often take a broader and wider view. They may group a wide variety of products into a single "value stream." Here is an example:

Example of Value Stream Map

Example of Process Chart/MapProcess Maps

These charts trace the sequence of events for a single product. While they can be done at any level, the most useful charts are quite detailed. This is important because most waste is at a micro- level.

Frank Gilbreth's symbology, which we prefer, is simple and visual. One does not need the Rosetta Stone to decipher hieroglyphics. It dramatically displays waste. In this example, all but the green circles are waste.

Process mapping is a great tool for Kaizen events. Their simplicity makes them ideal when training time is limited.

Which To Use?

The short answer is both:

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The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes  beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader not only how to do it but what to do with it.

Lean Briefing is only sent to those who subscribe or those who download from the Strategos website.

Books & Videos

Guide to Cycle Counting

Warehouse Planning Guide

Human Side of Lean Video

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SEP 2007