The lean production movement (Womack and Jones, 1996) developed and presented the value stream mapping (VSM) tool (Rother and Shook, 1998; Pavnaskar et al., 2003) as a functional method aimed at reorganizing production systems with a lean vision.
VSM is based on ﬁve phases put into practice by a special team created for such a purpose (Rother and Shook, 1998). The phases are:
(1) selection of a product family;
(2) current state mapping;
(3) future state mapping;
(4) deﬁning a working plan; and
(5) achieving the working plan.
Guidelines are needed for the deﬁnition of the future state map; lean thinking provides them to assist users in how this map should be drawn (Rother and Shook, 1998; Marchwinski and Shook, 2003). These guidelines in summarized form are:
The production rate must be imposed by the product demand. Takt time is the concept that reﬂects such a rate.
Establishment of continuous ﬂow where possible (unique product transfer batches).
Employment of pull systems between different work centres when continuous ﬂow is not possible.
Only one process, called the pacemaker process, should command the production of the different parts. This process will set the pace for the entire value stream.
Value Stream Mapping Symbols
Symbols and Map - Presentation
VALUE-STREAM MAPPING ICONS FOR EXCEL - Excel Sheet for download
An evaluation of the value stream mapping tool
Excel Tools for Value Stream Mapping
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Updated 21 May 2015
Initial post 26 Feb 2014