Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a technique used in process excellence methodologies such as LEAN and Six Sigma to: 1) understand how customer value really flows through a process, 2) identify waste in those processes, and3) quantify the effectiveness of the process. Frequently VSM is referred to as the doorway or steps into the “House of Lean” because the various process improvement principles, techniques and tools cannot do you any good until you really know – see – experience --the process, considering the customer’s point of view.
Do a search on process improvement methodologies and tools, and you will likely be overwhelmed by the amount of material there is to review. On top of that, companies frequently rebrand their approach within their organizations as they build upon the methodologies of the past and integrate their own cultural aspects, and you will hear your business peers talk about Business Process Engineering, Continuous Improvement, or Integrated Work Systems. But what does it all mean and how do we, as organizations, choose between them?
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