Value Stream Mapping
Value stream mapping (VSM) is a method of improvement that allows an entire process to be visualized. It represents the flow of both materials and information in an attempt to improve a process by finding sources of waste. The technique identifies all actions necessary to bring a product or service to customers.
When reducing waste in a process.
When there is limited time for documenting a process and identifying problems.
When seeking areas for future improvement.
When searching for a process's bottleneck.
1. DETERMINE WHAT INDIVIDUAL PRODUCT, SERVICE, OR FAMILY TO MAP.
2. DRAW THE PROCESS FLOW.
3. ADD THE MATERIAL FLOW.
4. ADD THE INFORMATION FLOW and record how the process communicates with customers and suppliers.
5. COLLECT PROCESS DATA. Connect the data to corresponding boxes on the chart.
6. ADD PROCESS AND LEAD TIME DATA to the chart, including things such as delays and set-up time.
7. VALIDATE THE MAP.
Demonstrates links between information and material flow.
Provides visual representation of wasteful areas and possibilities for improvement.
Is quick and efficient.
Can illuminate hidden problem symptoms.
May be difficult to apply consistently to clinical aspects of health care given variation in patient conditions and needs.
Rother M, Shook J. Learning to see: value-stream mapping to create value and eliminate MUDA. Cambridge, MA: The Lean Enterprise Institute; 2003.
Zidel T. Value stream mapping. In: O'Mara P, editor. A lean guide to transforming healthcare. Milwaukee, WI: ASQ Quality Press; 2006. p. 27-44.
Woodcock E. The lean-thinking revolution. Mastering patient flow: using lean thinking to improve your practice operations. 3rd ed. Englewood: Medical Group Management Association; 2009. p. 11-40.