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University publishes an ISO standard for Value Stream Management

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Publié le lundi 30 mars 2020

For the first time, the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO) published an ISO standard under the lead of Luxembourg. With support of the Institut luxembourgeois de la normalisation, de l'accréditation, de la sécurité et qualité des produits et services (ILNAS) ISO 22468 about “Value stream management (VSM)” was published in March 2020. It enables to identify and reduce waste in value streams, commonly used within manufacturing.

Improve communication in supply chain

Value stream management (VSM) method is an effective tool for the collection, evaluation and continuous improvement of product and information flows within organisations. The VSM methodology includes the analysis, design and planning of value streams. In consideration of an ideal state, the current state of the value stream is mapped according to the gathered data and subsequently analysed to design a future state with less waste and a reduced lead time.

Based on a variety of different VSM approaches, which have been developed in the framework of Lean Production primarily since the 1990s, there are communication and collaboration issues during the application of VSM in practice due to different value stream visualisations and associated calculation procedures. These challenges occur mainly at the interfaces of departments, corporate groups or entire supply chains. Therefore, the adherence of rules and guidelines regarding VSM is required to ensure a common and standardised method for the collection, evaluation and continuous improvement of value streams within cross-enterprise value networks.

ISO 22468 provides guidelines for the application of Value Stream Management (VSM) with regards to the collection, evaluation and continuous improvement of value stream relevant data. The aim of this standard is to eliminate the communication issues at supply chain interfaces due to different value stream visualisations and associated calculation procedures. This standard thus enables a language neutral visualisation of VSMs.

To do so, the standardisation of VSM defines the following four categories:

  • VSM symbols: Catalogue with 35 standardised VSM symbols for the visual presentation of process workflows.
  • VSM data boxes and VSM parameters: Selection of value stream relevant process variables for the gathering and analysis of value streams.
  • VSM parameters and calculation: Unification of value stream relevant parameters and calculations procedures to ensure a uniform calculation of value streams (e.g. lead time).
  • VSM visualisation: Consistent form of presentation of value stream to enable a universal understanding throughout different economic sectors.

The figure beneath shows the typical setup of a value stream map.

Figure 1: Typical setup of a value stream map

Long creation process

The team of Prof. Peter Plapper from the Department of Engineering at the University of Luxembourg worked 8 years in several research projects to develop this global standard.

In 2014 the FNR-funded Public-Private Partnership (PPP) research project "Standardised cross-enterprise Value Stream Management Method” (StreaM), was launched by the University of Luxembourg in close cooperation with Euro-Composites and support by ILNAS.

In 2015 Prof. Plapper was appointed convener of ISO Technical Committee 154 Workgroup 7 (ISO/ TC 154 WG 7), which is in charge for standards in the area of “Processes, data elements and documents in commerce, industry and administration”.  This international expert team build on the scientific findings of Christoph Oberhausen and Jeff Mangers to formulate the standard ISO 22468. During the following four years of work, a common method for the visualisation, analysis and continuous improvement of value streams was identified, validated and submitted at ISO level to elaborate an international standard.

In 2019, the University of Luxembourg and ILNAS hosted the International Standardisation Organisation Technical Committee ISO/ TC 154 plenary meeting at the campus Kirchberg. International experts from 18 participating countries discussed about the development of new standards related to blockchain, e-commerce and value stream management.

Thanks to the great support of VSM experts as well as their national standardisation bodies in the five active member countries China, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, project leader Prof. Peter Plapper and his VSM project team have elaborated the details of the VSM draft standard at ISO level and after several years of fruitful exchanges, the project becomes real.

“Value Stream Management (VSM) is an outstanding method to visualise the process flow of complete operations, not only manufacturing plants. With the new standard ISO 22468, we teach all students to understand value creation processes, and to identify waste," comments Prof. Plapper.