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Value Stream Mapping

VSM - Value Stream Mapping

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is an image-based visualization technique used to identify problems and losses in a process under examination.

VSM is used as a tool for:

  • communication,
  • strategic planning,
  • management change.

The mapping process consists of three steps that enable a transition from the current state to the ideal state:

Creating a map that shows the current status of an area

Creating a map that shows the future status of an area

Defining a change plan that outlines the steps necessary to implement in order to achieve the ideal state

EN Narzedzia VSM1

How to perform process mapping?

  1. Select the area you want to analyze. Define the beginning and end of the process. Determine the product, group of products, or service that interests you.
  2. Create an interdisciplinary team. Invite all process participants. A well-selected team will help to better identify areas for improvement.
  3. Answer the question: why does this process exist?
  4. Create a process map:

Define the basic process steps. Use yellow sticky notes, which can be easily rearranged. Often when we start analyzing a process, we forget about some steps that we add later. Yellow sticky notes are the best tool for this.

Fill in the fields under the process descriptions. Describe how many people are involved in each stage of the process, what they need, how much time each step takes, what problems occur, what the quality is like, what the KPIs are.

EN Narzedzia VSM2

5 Draw the flow of people and material

6 Draw the flow of information – where and when does information come from?

7. Place operations on a timeline.

mapa procesu


  • Each step of the process described is made visible and analysed
  • Human resources, material resources, delays and customer lead times are analysed
  • The vision created for the future clearly states how to implement process improvements
  • The tool compares the actual state with the ideal state 1:1
  • Helps to understand and see the flow of people, machines, information

Recommended book: “Learn to see” by authors Mike Rother and John Shook

Thinking of carrying out a VSM process in your company?

We welcome your cooperation