Value Stream Mapping Software

CNET Editors' Rating:

VSM made easy

Start Now
Value stream mapping software

What is a Value Stream Map

A value stream map is made up of a three distinct looking parts: a process map, a corresponding timeline, and information flow. The process map is comprised of the steps and the information associated with the steps of your process. The timeline is there to show cycle times and differentiate between value-added cycle times and non value-added cycles times and help identify waste. The information flow further explains the interaction and activity between the stations of your value chain.

Value Stream Map component

Build a Value Stream Map

To make a Value Stream Map in SmartDraw, you'll want to start with a Value Stream Mapping template. This will open a library of specialized symbols used in VSM like those for a supplier and customer as well as specialized lines and process symbols.

Place your supplier on one end of the map by dragging it out of the library. Click on the shape and type "Supplier" to label it.

Drag and drop customized VSM symbols

Create a Process Map

Next, add process boxes that describe each step by selecting a process symbol in the library and using the Add Down and Add Right buttons to build your flow.

Add process steps quickly

You can also add boxes that contain data like C/T and C/O numbers to record cycle times and changeover times to add more detail.

Add data

You can always insert shipping or inventory symbols as necessary either by using the Add Right/Left buttons or by dragging and dropping them to the line to be grabbed automatically. You won't have to manually reformat the diagram even if you add these after the rest of your process is built.

Making changes is always easy. Just delete or move steps. SmartDraw will automatically reformat your diagram and connecting lines.

Finish off your process flow by adding a customer shape at the end.

Insert symbols

Show Production Control and Information Flows

The information flow explains the interaction and activity between the stations of your value chain.

To show the information flow, add a separate production control symbol and link it to the starting (supplier) and end points (customer) of your map. To do so, drag and drop the symbol from the attached library.

Next, find the line labeled "Electronic Information Flow" and connect your production control to other symbols in your diagram.

Connect to production control with electronic information flow

Create a Timeline to Help Detect Waste

Finally, you'll want to add a timeline. You can do this using SmartDraw's segmented shape connector. First, make sure you turn off Arrowheads in the Line style menu in the style group on the Home tab. Once arrowheads are set to none, you can choose the segmented "Shape Connector" in the Line type drop-down and drag your cursor to draw a segmented line. You can connect multiple segmented lines to create a timeline along the bottom of your map.

Use the timeline to show cycle times, the amount of time that elapses between one completed output to the next.

Add timeline

SmartDraw Gives You Other Lean Tools, Too

You'll also find these Lean Method visuals in SmartDraw:

  • PDCA Cycle
  • Process Map
  • Cause-and-Effect Diagram
  • Spaghetti Diagram
  • 5S
  • 5 Whys
  • A3 Thinking
  • Red Tag
  • SIPOC Analysis
Value chain analysis

Share Your Value Stream Map Any Way You Choose

Share your value stream map in a variety of common graphics formats such as PDF, SVG, or export it to any Office® application or Google Workspace app. SmartDraw also works with popular services such as Dropbox®, Box® Google Drive, and OneDrive®.

Export to Office

Value Stream Maps and More

SmartDraw is much more than just value stream mapping software. SmartDraw includes specialized templates for 70 different types of visuals—mind maps, organizational charts, data charts, floor plans, and more. Plus, there are hundreds of examples that you can easily edit and make your own.

SmartDraw diagram types

VSM Examples and Templates

Professionally-designed value stream mapping templates make you instantly productive. With dozens of standard value stream mapping symbols, simply choose the value stream map example that is most similar to your project, and customize it to suit your needs.

Try SmartDraw Free

Discover why SmartDraw is the industry's best value stream mapping software.

By continuing to use the website, you consent to the use of cookies.   Read More