Value Stream Mapping (VSM)

11 Feb 2023 | Inception Activities

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to optimize their processes. By creating a visual representation of the entire process from start to finish, VSM enables organizations to easily identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement.

Step by step:

  1. Map the current state: Have participants create a visual representation of the current process, including all steps and the flow of materials and information.
  2. Add relevant information: Supplement each step with relevant details, such as process time, involved individuals, systems, technology, and other relevant information.
  3. Identify bottlenecks and waste: Analyze the current process to uncover bottlenecks, non-value-adding activities, and sources of waste.
  4. Determine action steps: Identify the desired process improvements and determine the necessary action steps to achieve them.


Value Stream Mapping is a powerful tool for process optimization, and it works best as a team effort. Encourage participation from all departments and levels within the organization to ensure that the process map accurately reflects the perspectives of all stakeholders.


This post is part of a series of posts on inception related activities.


Paulo Caroli

Paulo Caroli is the author of the best-selling book “Lean Inception: How to Align People and Build the Right Product” (the first on a series of books about Lean Strategy and Delivery). He's also the creator of , a site and book about retrospectives, futurospectives and team building activities. Caroli writes on this blog frequently. Receive the next post in your email. Sign up here .
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