Organizational flow is like a river with many branches. It runs downstream from its source until it reaches the ocean. Opportunities for improvement can be found anywhere in the flow of either the main channel or the tributaries.
Value stream mapping is hard work because it requires looking at a process as if every step is non-value-added and is costing the organization time and resources. The 5 Whys is an easy way to root out as many non-value-added steps as possible.
A value stream map can look daunting, especially for anyone who has not worked much with flowcharts. But, alot can be gained from starting a value stream map, even if there is not enough data to do the perfect map the first time through.
A value stream mapping is a lean enterprise technique used to document, analyze and improve the flow of information or materials required to produce a product or service for a customer.
Can't afford special software or time for training? Value stream mapping (VSM) can be done with a simple spreadsheet. Admittedly some specialized functions will be unavailable, but Six Sigma practitioners can develop a VSM to address many issues.