Katrina Simon's picture

Value Stream Mapping goes ARIS

A couple of days ago, my colleague Eva Klein has given you an introduction into Lean Six Sigma and related modeling activities. Her post showed that modeling flow charts is not only a core BPM-discipline but is widely acknowledged by lean management practices as well.

I have just returned from a value stream mapping workshop on a customer‚Äės site in the discrete manufacturing sector. We spend three days in the shop floor walking along the actual pathways of material and information flows ourselves and gathering information each process. While we began with rough sketches by hand in pencil right on the shop floor, ARIS was the tool to document the full-fledged value streams electronically. Being very impressed by the power VSM modelling adds on lean process improvement, I decided to share the basics of value stream mapping in ARIS with you.

What is Value Stream Mapping? And, what is a value stream?

Value stream mapping is an essential tool of lean manufacturing that allows for documenting production processes and analyzing them according to lean management practices. A value stream is an end-to-end process that includes all flows of material and information as a product makes its way from raw material into the arms of customers. VSM is typically used in lean manufacturing (production flow), but also apply to product development (design flow), logistics, supply chain, service-related industries, health care and software development.

How does ARIS support VSM?

(1) VSM as ARIS model type
Choose VSM as a process modell type in the Model Wizard

ARIS Six Sigma comes with an additional modeling type for value stream maps. You may either choose to use a VSM as a stand-alone model or use it as part of your process architecture linked to other process models of any kind (e.g. EPC, VAC, SIPOC) via assignments, process interfaces, or occurrence copies.





(2)¬†Full range of VSM symbols ‚Äď well-integrated into the ARIS method


In its core a value stream map consists of process boxes, external suppliers and customers and arrows indicating the flow of material and information. In ARIS, they are represented by standard VSM symbols while their object types are ARIS generic. For example, the supplier initiating the flow of material is visualized by the symbol ‚Äúoutside source‚ÄĚ which again is of the object type ‚Äúorganizational unit‚ÄĚ. This allows you to reuse modeling objects among VSM and non-VSM models.
Beyond the basic elements, ARIS provides you with a variety of push- and pull-connections (e.g. FIFO, Supermarkets, Kanban,…) between process flows. They are the key instrument of the constant quest for waste reduction in lean manufacturing.




(3) Maintaining process times and inventories

Value stream mapping is not only about flow structures but also about gathering process data such as times, inventories, etc. ARIS provides you with VSM attributes that can be maintained per modeling object and placed as text boxes in the model.



(4) Calculating timelines automatically

Based on the data collected and maintained, a value stream map is complemented by a timeline. It shows the value-adding processing times (i.e. when the product is actually processed according to customer requirements) of the process boxes as well as the non-value-adding lead times (i.e. when the product accumulates, waits for the next stop, is transported) in between. ARIS draws this timeline by the means of a macro and calculates the final value added ratio (VAR) between overall lead time and value-adding processing time.









(5)Evaluating VSMs through specific reports

Additional VSM analysis on overall process efficiency, kaizen bursts, etc. can be performed via specific VSM ARIS reports.



What’s in it for you?

In a nut shell, value stream mapping in ARIS helps you

  • visualize the flow of material and information in your shop floor
  • see the sources of waste in your value stream and envision a less wasteful future state
  • talk about and discuss manufacturing processes in a common language
  • tie together lean concepts and techniques with BPM
  • bring your BPM experts and your Lean experts on a table
  • create a blueprint for lean implementation

Stay tuned for more project experiences with VSM! 

If you like this post, join the brandnew ARIS community group on Six Sigma and Lean Management to get more updates on how ARIS Six Sigma helps you improve your process efficiency and quality!