Value Stream mapping is a lean and six sigma tool used to visually understand the flow of materials and information for a given process or set of activities. The value stream map includes both information and material or service flows that identify value added and non value added activities. A value stream map is a fundamental tool used to lead waste reduction projects, cycle time reductions and other improvement activities.
Before this powerful tool gained the name value stream map it was referred to as a material and information flow diagram or map by Toyota.
The Value Stream is the entire set of activities that are required to design, produce and provide services or goods. Included in every value stream is both information and material flows. When a value stream map is used you can identify both value-added and non value-added activities.
Value is a perception of the worth, regard, importance or usefulness of a good or service. Value is added to services and items in three different ways: transformation, addition of some kind or subtraction of some kind.
Value added work is the actual work that a customer is willing to pay for. It can be described as any activity that transforms a product or service from one condition to another, is done right the first time through and somebody is willing to pay for it. With that said value added work has three defining characteristics. We’ve outlined them in a checklist below:
Here is an example of a value added activity. Keep in mind that no process is 100% free of waste. John receives an order for a part he must machine. John begins machining his part and completes it correctly the first time through. This is seen as value added because the customer is willing to pay for it, the transformation occurred on the machine and he machined the part correctly the first time through. Let’s look at one more example. Martha requests some information from Dianne. Dianne gathers the necessary information and emails Martha. When Martha receives the information she is grateful. She reads through the email and is able to get all the information she needs to complete her task. This would be considered a value added email because Martha requested it, the email contained all the necessary information and it was performed correctly the first time.
Some activities can be difficult to determine whether they are value or not. If you are unsure as to what type of work the activity should be classified as, ask yourself the three questions shown below:
If any of your answers were a no, the activity can not be value added and is either Business necessary work or non-value adding work.
John receives a second order for parts he needs to machine. He begins machining the parts however one hole is undersized. Because it is undersized he can rework the hole. Is this activity still value added?
**Place answers in the comments tab below.**
Visual control refers to methods, devices, activities and or systems which are designed to assist in the management or control of our activities, processes, parts and or machines through visual and or other sensory means. Visual controls help to:
Visual Challenge - Watch the video below and share how many black pens you see. Then answer the question; Why was it so easy to see the black pens after the 5S?
Variance is the difference between what is expected and what is actually happening. In statistics variance is a measurement of dispersion of data.
Reference: Apics Dictionary, 2015.
* What are some examples of variance that you see each day?
Vendor Managed Inventory programs are a powerful way to leverage an organization's strengths and focus on your core competencies. Vendor Managed Inventory places the responsibility of selected services and or items on a chosen supplier. In most cases the supplier will handle all agreed upon aspects, Which would include:
The vision of an organization is a compelling image or inspirational description of what an organization would like to achieve or accomplish. It is a forward looking and inspirational idea of where you would like to be. The vision guides the decisions of the current and future activities of the organization.
What does a vision do?
Variation is the term used to describe the consistency of a processes outputs. Reducing variation is one of the most important objectives in Lean and Six Sigma. The reduction of variation improves sigma rating and creates more stable processes that can be improved upon. There are two types of variation: Common cause variation and Special cause variation.
The voice of the customer is a process that is often used in business to collect requirements, needs, wants, expectations and feedback from customers. The voice of the customer is both internal and external. The voice of the customer allows organizations and individuals to be proactive in understanding the customer allowing them to be innovative and make the proper changes to meet customer expectations. A great resource when using the voice of the customer in Lean or Six Sigma is a book entitled Voice of the Customer: Capture and analysis.