Scale by Understanding Your Value Stream: Slides and Video Recap

Martha Ryan and Terry Frazier offered a briefing on how to “Scale by Understanding Your Value Stream” at the Lean Culture Meetup on Feb-25-2021. Here is a recap of the event that includes slides and video.

Scale by Understanding Your Value Stream

Scale by Understanding Your Value Stream

Value stream mapping is a lean technique used to document, analyze and improve the flow of information or materials required to produce a product or service. Mapping your value stream encompasses all activities undertaken from beginning to end for a specific product or service in order to provide business value.

Value Stream is a technique:

  • Used to analyze the flow of information, people, and materials required to bring a product or service to a consumer.
  • To identify and eliminate process waste to increase efficiency, throughput, and effectiveness.


  • Martha Ryan, Business transformation leader
  • Terry Frazier, Business Tech & Industry Analyst, Competitive Intel & Communication Specialist

Description from Feb-25-2021 Lean Culture Meetup


Slides from Scale by Understanding Your Value Stream [PDF]

Some key take-aways

A value stream map is a visual representation of key inputs, actions, transformations, outputs, and the real reason(s) the customer is paying you. This enables a team to come to a working consensus on process definition, enabling agreement on skills and expertise needed for each task and the financial implications of a particular process design.


  • Has made the economic situation a complete gamble and you can’t afford to guess at how things should work when you go after a new opportunity.
  • Has also driven working from home which immediately breaks weak processes and inappropriate metrics. At first, everyone was a champion and put in the hours to make it work. The longer it lasts, the more exhausted people are. If your people are tired, you know there is a better way and owe it to your team and the future of your company to take a look at HOW the work is being done.


  • Current state of your industry, business and market opportunity or challenge, in broad terms.
  • Your long-term goal.
  • Any knowledge gaps or obstacles you have identified.


  • Can your problem/opportunity be measured?
  • How will you know when your problem is solved, or your opportunity is achieved?
  • What are your expectations for how long it will take to achieve the objective?

The mapping process always starts with the customer and what they are willing to pay for:

  • Who is the customer?
  • What do they get?
  • Describe how what they get is achieved, what processes are involved?
  • What do you need to initiate each process: what are the inputs or prerequisites?
  • Who supplies what you need to engage in the process?

This value stream mapping process can also be used to model a business opportunity that may require the creation of one or more new processes.  The mapping exercise will allow managers and relevant experts to compare notes on distinct aspects of a new business opportunity to arrive at a working consensus on how best to scale up to meet customer needs.

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