How to Do Value Stream Mapping – Lesson 5 – The information flow

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# Here the transcript of the video.


In this video, I am going to explain the 4th element of the Value Stream Mapping. The information flow.

Let me start with a key concept!

The Material Flow is dependent on Information Flow.

In other words, you can imagine the information flow going from right to left and hence the material flow going from left to right.

Should be clear that if the information flow is confused the material flow will be confused as a consequence.


to reinforce this last concept imagine you at the restaurant.
When you order to the waiter you are in the “Information Flow”.
When the waiter brings you what you ordered there is the “Material Flow”.
If your order is unclear or confused there is the risk you will not eat the dish you ordered.

How to represent “Information Flow”?

Commonly a straight arrow is used for the information flow and a “Z” arrow for the electronic information flow.

You can be more detailed by adding icons like phone, mail, excel icon, etc.

Another important icon to use is a pair of glasses.
This icon is used to represent when the shop supervisor counts inventory and make schedule adjustments based on such information.

The information has to be represented in the highest part of the Value Stream Map by connecting:

1) Customer to MRP of the company
2) MRP to Supplier
3) MRP to Shopfloor.

the last information flow to be represented is between the process boxes.
Typically in the AS-IS Value Stream Mapping, you have the PUSH System.

The Push system is normally represented by a thick and Black and white arrow.

The goal is to transform this PUSH system in a PULL system by a Kanban System or a FIFO Lane.

Remember to draw the frequency of the information flow.

Let me close with a golden rule…

If the information flow seems messy, that is probably because it is!


The information flow typically covers the highest part of the map.

You should have now 4 of the 5 elements of the
Value Stream Mapping.

In the next video, I will explain the last element: The Timeline



my name is Mark Anderson a 20+ year Lean Expert.
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