Every organization exists to create value. Companies work to create value for customers and stakeholders. Education exists to create value for students and the community. Non-profits create value for members and society at large. Government should create value for the governed.
The creation of value is the point, but we all know that it isn't always where we spend the bulk of our time or energy. Time, complexity, changing regulations and customer requirements all conspire to gum up our processes with activities and delays that do nothing to add value to customers. The problem isn't that people show up to work every day wanting to spend their time on meaningless chores. Yet despite best intentions:
A bad system will beat a good person every time.W. Edwards Deming
Running a Value Stream Mapping Workshop can help teams find and eliminate those wasteful activities that provide no value to customers nor meaning for employees.
Lean thinking has a 25-year history in manufacturing, where you can find lots of examples for how to create and use value stream maps. These VSMs illustrate raw parts arriving from suppliers, parts fabrication, movement, scheduling and factory assembly lines, packaging, shipping, and distribution channels.