What is value stream mapping?
Value stream mapping is a visual way to improve productivity and quality by identifying and eliminating waste. It’s a process that can be applied at any step of the process, from raw material to customer service. It improves the efficiency and effectiveness of any value stream by creating a map that shows where time and resources are used, wasted, or waiting.
What do freelance Value Stream Mapping Consultants do?
Freelance value stream mapping consultants utilize information flow in a business to monitor and improve the flow of materials, products, services, activities, and resources through the system.
The basic idea behind Value Stream Mapping is that waste in a process will result in lower quality products or services. The map enables companies to study and review each step of the process. The map has over 100 different symbols on it which helps businesses see where they can improve their process. Each step of the process is broken down, and the company tries to figure out why this step is necessary and what value it provides. If it is unnecessary or adds no value to the product or service, then they try to eliminate this step from their production line and hopefully reduce waste and create a better quality product for their customer.
How do freelance consultants carry out value stream mapping?
Freelance consultants have a variety of methods to use to create a value stream map. The first method is a “process map”. A process map usually captures all of the workflows within a company and represents them as a tree diagram with each process on one level. These maps can be useful to give an overview of how processes are interrelated, but they do not capture any information about waste or inefficiencies because they do not contain details about each step or how often each step happens. Consultants usually adopt the below steps in value stream mapping.
1: Defining Value: Freelance value stream mapping consultants would often begin by getting everyone on board about what needs improvement.
2: Identifying Waste: Freelance consultants would next find out where time and resources are being wasted; it includes everything from overproduction to defects.
3: Establishing Flow: Freelance consultants would find out where the waste is by visualizing the time and material it takes to produce products or services.
4: Improving Flow: Consultants will identify options for reducing the waste and establish measures to improve the overall process and create a solution and establish measures.
5: Standardizing Improvements: Next, freelance value stream mapping consultants would set up a plan for sustainability that involves documentation, communication, and team participation.
6: Consolidating Gains: Once freelance consultants have completed step five, they verify that improvements are as expected then update as necessary.
These six steps when implemented by freelance consultants turn the map into an effective tool for improving processes, thus creating efficiency and quality. Ultimately, value stream mapping on the macroeconomic scale, leads to greater profits for companies, which leads to job creation and lower unemployment. Once freelance value stream mapping consultants have created the map, they ensure everyone involved in the process gets a clear understanding of it. Freelance value stream mapping consultants reinforce understanding throughout a firm by:
i) Putting up posters in strategic places around the business
ii) Creating a “value stream map wall” with push pins and string to illustrate the process.
iii) Having team members report back on how they can improve their portion of the process.
iv) Holding town hall meetings about the steps they took.
v) Getting teams together to celebrate their successes.
Why do you need a Freelance Consultant to handle your Business’ Value Stream Mapping?
A business’s value chain comprises some functions which just add overhead costs while some functions add more value than others. Instead of simply studying the main value-adding steps, Freelance Value Stream mapping consultants break these steps into smaller processes. This helps your business focus on sections which can be optimized and improved thereby optimizing business effectiveness and profitability.