Value stream basically starts from the beginning of an idea until it has been placed in the hand of the customer for consumption. In other words, the value stream starts and ends with the customer in mind. Put in another way, if the outcome doesn’t delight the customer, the non-value adding tasks are still part of the system and value has not been delivered. Hence, the value stream is the work; it is not the people doing the work.
Value stream mapping is an endeavour that lists the steps in the work leading to the delivery of a product or service. It details the activities involved from conception to the point of delighting the customer with value realisation. To get the best out of a system of work, it is imperative to watch out for the waiting periods versus value-adding periods. This would give an indication of how much waiting occurs in a particular system. And this could be the rate at which progresses, the wait time required for other tasks to be delivered and the hand-offs/handovers that occur in-between tasks. Value stream mapping facilitates the visibility of work.
One major way to improve a system is to remove delays between the steps and to reduce distractions during delivery. Value stream helps to focus on the most valuable benefit to be created, which have the potential to enhance time to market and effectiveness.
How has Value Stream Mapping helped your team in the past?