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 sequence of activities; such as supplier to customer. The value stream map includes both information and material flow that identifies value added and non value added activities. A value stream map is often used as a critical tool 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 sequence of activities that are required to design, produce and provide services, transactions 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 added work is the actual work that a customer is willing to pay for. It can be described as the the activities that transform a product or service from one condition to another only if the customer is willing to pay for it and the activity is done correctly the first time through. With that said value added work has three defining characteristics:
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.
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?