Benefits of using Value Stream Mapping Software
While it’s true that you all you need to create a value stream map is a pen and a piece of paper – using software tools can have many benefits value stream mapping software has a lot to offer.
There is a variety of Value Stream Mapping software available with Mapping tools such as Microsoft Visio (Office Homepage) which allow maps to be created via dragging and dropping familiar icons onto a work space to create the value stream map to software that allows you to enter information in table form (Systems2win.com) automatically creating the value stream map once the data has been collected.
There are a variety of benefits to using software over traditional methods – these include:
1/ By using integrated shapes within the software it ensures that standard icons are used by all team members
2/ Ability to produce Multi level maps (i.e. sub processes)
3/ Automatic Calculation of elements such as Takt Time and NVA time based on data entered by the map designer
4/ Integrated reports and scorecards
5/ What if simulation – contrast current and future inventory
Of these one of the most compelling is “what if” functionality, one of the traditional steps of value stream mapping is to create a future state map – a vision of the future once problems have been eradicated. Integrating data, automatic calculations and what if analysis can be a powerful combination allowing the change-agent team to see both the benefits to the organization and potential constraints and bottlenecks as the future state value stream map is produced. What if analysis is often integrated with spreadsheet applications which offers the benefit of a familiar environment for users who may be unfamiliar about value stream maps.