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Identifying, Visualizing and Decreasing Waste

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Value Stream Mapping

Ohno and Shingo

Summary of Value Stream Mapping. Abstract

Taiichi Ohno (1985), Shigeo Shingo (1991)

D. Jones (1995)

Peter Hines and Nick Rich (1997)

Value Stream MappingThe Value Stream Mapping method (VSM) is a visualization tool oriented to the Toyota version of Lean Manufacturing (Toyota Production System). It helps to understand and streamline work processes using the tools and techniques of Lean Manufacturing. The goal of VSM is to identify, demonstrate and decrease waste in the process. Waste being any activity that does not add value to the final product, often used to demonstrate and decrease the amount of ‘waste’ in a manufacturing system. VSM can thus serve as a starting point to help management, engineers, production associates, schedulers, suppliers, and customers recognize waste and identify its causes. As a result, Value Stream Mapping is primarily a communication tool, but is also used as a strategic planning tool, and a change management tool.


In order to do this, the Value Stream Mapping method visually maps the flow of materials and information from the time products come in the back door as raw material, through all manufacturing process steps, and off the loading dock as finished products.

Mapping out the activities in the manufacturing process with cycle times, down times, in-process inventory, material moves, information flow paths, helps to visualize the current state of the process activities and guides towards the future desired state.

The process usually includes the physically mapping of the "Current State" while also focusing on where you get to, or the "Future State" map, which can serve as the foundation for other Lean improvement strategies.

History of VSM: The use of waste removal to drive competitive advantage inside organizations was pioneered in the 1980s by Toyota’s chief engineer, Taiichi Ohno, and sensei Shigeo Shingo and is oriented fundamentally to productivity rather than to quality. The reason for this is thought to be that improved productivity leads to leaner operations which help to expose further waste and quality problems in the system. Thus the systematic attack on waste is also a systematic assault on the factors underlying poor quality and fundamental management problems. The seven commonly accepted wastes in the Toyota production system were originally (reformulation by Jones between brackets):

  1. Overproduction (faster-than-necessary pace)

  2. Waiting

  3. Transport (conveyance)

  4. Inappropriate processing

  5. Unnecessary inventory (excess stock)

  6. Unnecessary motion

  7. Defects (correction of mistakes)

Peter Hines and Nick Rich have suggested the following Seven Value Stream Mapping tools (Article: "The seven value stream mapping tools" - International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 17, No. 1, 1997, pp. 46-64.):

  1. Process activity mapping {Origin: Industrial Engineering}

  2. Supply chain response matrix {Origin: Time compression/logistics}

  3. Production variety funnel {Origin: Operations Management}

  4. Quality filter mapping

  5. Demand amplification mapping {Origin: Systems Dynamics}

  6. Decision point analysis {Origin: Efficient Consumer Response/logistics}

  7. Physical structure mapping

Compare with Value Stream Mapping:  Kaizen  |  Business Process Reengineering  |  Organizational Learning  |  Simulation  |  Value Chain  |  Just-in-time  |  Deming Cycle  |  Six Sigma  |  Outsourcing

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