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Mapping Value

Value stream mapping (VSM) is a useful and productive method. It is also called “brown paper” mapping because the maps are sometimes created on brown paper taped to a wall during interactive process-improvement workshops. Process operations are represented with individual sticky notes. Visual information, describing metrics, and opportunities for improvement are also attached to the operations in the map. A simple VSM is shown in Figure 6.1 with notes and descriptive information showing metrics. The process mapping symbols are also shown. These vary by application. In manufacturing, symbols depicting factories, trucks, and operations are used, but service industries there are symbols that represent flowing information. Below the VSM, additional information is attached to show how the workflows are managed within a process. This can include inspection and data collection forms, quality reports including scrap and rework, maintenance reports showing setup times, machine breakdowns, and other information useful for analyzing the process. An important attribute of a VSM is that it is visual and built operation-by-operation by the people doing the work. Also, major workflows are studied as needed in detail and are quantified with key operational metrics.

Figure 6.2 shows a VFM of processes within a value stream. The concept and methodology are like the VSM, but a VFM is applied at a lower


Value stream or “brown paper” mapping at an enterprise level. Attach information to the value stream map that shows how the process is managed, such as management reports, inspection and data collection forms, quality reports including scrap and rework, maintenance reports showing machine breakdowns, and any other information useful in analyzing the process.

level. The list of operational metrics is gathered for each operation during construction of a VFM. These are used to describe a process, the entire value stream, or other levels such as a facility within a VSM and its processes or just one facility within a supply chain. The mapping becomes more detailed as the VSM team begins to focus on major processes and their workflows.


Analyzing a process. VA = value-add; NVA = non-value-add; BVA = business value add.

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