When producing Value Stream Maps a significant number of practioners like to capture the map digitally – While there are a number of dedicated Value Stream Mapping software applications that can do this – until recently the most Common business process mapping application – did not include in-built support for producing Value Stream Maps.

With the release of Microsoft Visio Professional 2007
Value Stream Mapping is supported out of the box (note that Visio 2007 standard edition doesn’t). Previous editions of Visio did not come with any inbuilt support for VSM.

However – for those users not running Visio 2007 Professional – all is not lost (especially those running earlier versions e.g. Visio 2003). Visio comes in built with the ability to add custom stencils (A Visio Stencil is a group of shapes) and a number of Visio Stencils exist that have been developed either by 3rd party vendors or Visio enthusiasts to support Value Stream Mapping. Check out our page on Value Stream Mapping Visio Stencils.

These stencils include the common shapes which are used in Value Stream Mapping such as Customer and supplier icons – transport icons – Kanban icons and icons for representing the material and information flow.

Adding a Stencil is fairly easy –

1/ Download the Stencil and save it to a location on your computer (you may need to unzip it with a suitable application)
2/ Open Visio
3/ Select the File / Shapes / Open Stencil Menu Option
4/ Select the Stencil that you obtained at point 1
5/ Visio will create a new pane in the shapes window for the Stencil you loaded.

Once loaded you can drag and drop the shapes from the customer stencil to start building your Value Stream Map.

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2 Responses to “Value Stream Mapping in Visio 2003 – Using custom visio stencils”

  1. Pedro Juarez on March 11th, 2010 10:58 pm

    hi, i hope you could help me? i’m reading your post about value stream mapping stencil for visio 2003 however when i try to open the flow alliance page, it mentioned that it doesnt exist, my question is if you could share me the file?

    thanks for your support


  2. BeGraphic on May 6th, 2010 11:52 pm

    BeGraphic is a free Excel add-in far better than Visio for “Value Stream Mapping” for two reasons :
    – BeGraphic offers fully-dynamic data visualization (e.g.: all connectors are color-coded and their size are meaningful)
    – data-graphics inside Visio are quite cumbersome and not that flexible

    On top of that, BeGraphic has its own VSM stencil for a long time (ask for it on the http://www.begraphic.com website)

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