Book Review: Value Stream Mapping


February, 2014
By Darren Dolcemascolo

There have been a number of books written about Value Stream Mapping over the past 10 to 15 years. Learning to See, by Mike Rother and John Shook, was the first book that explained the methodology. Last month, a new book entitled Value Stream Mapping: How to Visualize Work and Align Leadership for Organizational Transformation, written by Karen Martin and Mike Osterling, has been been released. It would be a difficult undertaking to write an innovative book on a subject that has been written about many times, but Martin and Osterling have been able to do it.

Value Stream Mapping is the most comprehensive book written on the subject, and I recommend it for every lean practitioner and teacher. Rather than just covering the basic techniques for mapping, this book covers the preparation for mapping, the execution of the mapping itself, and the management of the implementation. It also includes a number of tips for handling real-world scenarios. The book covers the following topics:

  • Overview of Value Stream Management
  • Planning, which includes activities such as developing a charter
  • Current State Mapping and Analysis
  • Designing the Future State
  • Developing the Transformation Plan
  • Finally, the book includes a number of diverse examples of maps in the appendices.
  • Whether you are an experienced lean practitioner or are just getting started, I highly recommend that you get a copy of Value Stream Mapping: How to Visualize Work and Align Leadership for Organizational Transformation.

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