Many companies dedicate key resources for a week or more to complete the mapping process, and then declare their effort complete. That’s missing the mark, because value stream maps are never meant to be stand alone documents. The VSM should be regarded — to use a football analogy — as akin to putting the game plan together. After a VSM is created, the team must execute the plan – blocking, tackling, running and passing in order to win the game. In other words, using what’s learned from creating the VSM to realize an ideal future state of the process. If activities aren’t following the plan, the coach will alter the plan in order to achieve a positive result. The VSM merely maps out what the current state is. Then, a plan (based on findings from creating the VSM) is created to improve the business.
The VSM provides the foundation for a plan that should look out no more than six months. The team should re-convene to update their value stream map by recording improvements and changing business conditions. The plan is then compiled for the next six months. Because the same team is revising the VSM within six-month timeframes, the process becomes less burdensome and more relevant. The VSM communicates the progress the lean initiatives have made.
Voss, T. (2015, January 30). Value Stream Mapping: Lessons from the front.