In recent years there have been a plethora of software packages released to support value stream mapping projects/workshops – these packages aide the capture of the process and often provide help in handling the data associated with such programs. 

In many cases, Value stream maps are usually drawn by hand  this is often done to keep the mapping process simple and easy for the workshop attendees to follow – manual capture also allows the maps to be amended or corrected easily.

As stated above, however, a variety of software tools are emerging as an alternative to traditional methods. Packages like Microsoft Visio have built in tools for Value stream mapping and while it comes down to personal preference – my suggestion would be to conduct the mapping activity using paper/pencil and then following completion of the map to use an appropriate software tool to capture the process electronically in order that the benefits that the software packages offer (automatic calculation etc) can then be used before the map is disseminated.



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