Consultants in Lean Manufacturing Á Manufacturing Strategy

lean article mnu lead-in

Value Stream & Process Mapping

Visualizing Work Processes 

Why Draw Pictures?

A factory is enormously complex. Only visuals convey enough information to understand the pieces, relationships, hidden waste and time-domain behavior.

Visualization brings a deep understanding and major breakthroughs in productivity and other performance. It leads to consensus on systemic problems and remedies. While finished charts communicate information about a situation, the real value is the mapping itself. This is where insights grow, paradigms shift and consensus builds.

Value Stream and Process Maps take different perspectives, but, the work they visualize is the same. Both have a place

Value Stream Maps

These show major process steps and often take a broader and wider view. They may group a wide variety of products into a single "value stream." Here is an example:

Value Stream Map Example


Value Stream Mapping BookThe Strategos Guide To

Value Stream & Process Mapping

Quarterman Lee's latest book on Value Stream Mapping and Process Mapping goes far beyond symbols and arrows. It tells the reader not only how to do it but what to do with it. More Info >>

Process Maps (charts)

These are also known as "Process Charts" or "flow Process Charts". They trace the sequence of events for a single product. While they can be done at any level, the most useful charts are quite detailed. This is important because most waste is at a micro- level.

Frank Gilbreth's symbology, which we prefer, is simple and visual. One does not need the Rosetta Stone to decipher hieroglyphics. It dramatically displays waste. In this example, all but the green circles are waste.

Process mapping is a great tool for Kaizen events. Their simplicity makes them ideal when training time is limited.

Process Map Example

Which To Use?

The short answer is both:

■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Contact Webmaster


SEP 2007  

Strategos-International:  North America - Europe - Australia

Strategos Footer

Lean Briefing Logo

The Free Newsletter

of Lean

Manufacturing Strategy

Lean Briefing Archives

The Strategos Guide To Value Stream and Process Mapping goes far beyond symbols and arrows. In over 163 pages it tells the reader not only how to do it but what to do with it. More info...

Strategos Guide to Value Stream & Process Mapping