Three Concepts for Value Stream Mapping

One of the first tools to use when looking at process improvements for any type of work is a value stream map. This tool can usually be used to find substantial and immediate improvements to process efficiency even before considering any Agile Work practices. There are only a few basic concepts to understand before jumping in…

Value Stream Mapping Basic Concept One: Touch Time and Cycle Time

Touch time is the amount of time people actually spend working on a task: building, thinking, breaking, writing etc. but excluding the time they break for coffee, writing emails, waiting for answers to questions etc. Cycle time is the overall time people are working on a task from the moment they take responsibility for that task to the moment they hand off their results and no longer have responsibility.

Value Stream Mapping Basic Concept Two: Value Added and Non Value Added

Value added tasks are those that actually add value to the end result. The opposite, non value added, is also known as muda or waste.

Value Stream Mapping Basic Concept Three: Be Brutal, Be Conservative

Be brutal and conservative when deciding the touch time vs. cycle time for an activity or when trying to decide if an activity is value added or not. Typically an organization starts out with about 80% of all of their processes being waste of various sorts. Look at your value stream map and try to classify about 80% of it as non value added or cycle time overhead.

Value Stream Mapping Process Step Template

Here is a nicely formatted template you can use for tracking your tasks in a value stream map in three formats:
Value Stream Map Process Step Template

Microsoft Excel
Value Stream Map Process Step Template

Adobe PDF
Value Stream Map Process Step Template

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