To improve, it’s crucial to see! Vital characteristics of Lean are visualisation and transparency, i.e. allowing everyone to see all what occurs in production. A common tool for this purpose is Value Stream Mapping (VSM). Due to varying flows, performing a successful VSM in construction confers additional challenges. In this paper, lessons learned from successful VSM studies in construction are provided. Three VSM case studies were performed at different companies ranging from patio door manufacturing to kitchen cabinet assembly. Lessons learned can be structured into three phases; preparing the VSM (selecting “value stream leaders” and VSM team, clarifying values, etc.), performing the VSM (use of mapping tools, approximation of key indicators, waste identification, etc.), and following-up the VSM (Plan-Do-Check-Act, evaluating customer values, etc.). For the involved companies, the lessons learned imply the start of a “Lean journey” even though the involved companies found it difficult to relate VSM improvements to business strategies. Consequently, there are opportunities to further improve the application of VSM. However, it’s important to remember that VSM is about the straight-forward visualisation of flows and that these flows are made transparent for the whole organisation.
Value Stream Mapping (VSM), Visualisation, Transparency, Lean Thinking, Value
Björnfot, A. , Bildsten, L. , Erikshammar, J. , Haller, M. & Simonsson, P. 2011, 'Lessons Learned From Successful Value Stream Mapping (Vsm) ' In:, Rooke, J. & Dave, B., 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lima, Peru, 13-15 Jul 2011.