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.