Naveen Kumar Singh
Naveen is a professional agile coach and has been working independently for a long time in the Asia... Read more
Value stream mapping and customer journey mapping are not the same. While value stream mapping lets you model your ideal value streams, customer journey mapping lets you map customers’ emotions, experiences, and intent.
You can understand what experience you’d like your customers to have with value stream mapping. And through customer journey mapping, you map out your customers’ actual experiences.
This article will discuss the difference between customer journey mapping and value stream mapping in detail. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
On the other hand, value stream mapping is a lean technique that helps understand your customer’s perspective about the value and how you can deliver it. It lets you model the ideal experience you’d like your clients or customers to have.
The purpose of value stream mapping is to evaluate how it’s adding value to the product from your customer’s perspective.
To create value stream maps, you’ll need to know what customers consider valuable. And customer journey mapping will help you identify that value and create the right value streams from a customer standpoint.
In short, customer journey mapping is an excellent process for understanding the value stream from the customer’s eyes.
It’s a flow chart method to improve the steps needed to deliver a service or product. Like any other flowchart method, it uses a system of standard symbols to describe different workflows and information flows. For example, what steps are needed to help customers buy a product from the Amazon website or take what steps to take to book a parcel with a courier company?
During value stream mapping, items are mapped as “add value” and “don’t add value” from the customer perspective to eliminate things that don’t bring any value. For example, in the manufacturing industry, materials are items, or designs are your items in the design or development industry. In the administration industry, your internal customers are your items. For example, asking customers to register on the courier website to send parcels doesn’t add value if customers are not going to use the service again in the future. However, it does add value for the courier company as they may share new services and updates.
Here we must mention that every customer cares about the value of the product or service you provide to them. However, they don’t care about your efforts in producing it. And value stream mapping ensures maintaining this focus.
You can use value stream mapping to enhance any process with multiple handoffs and repeatable steps. Although it’s easy to detect and visualize the handoffs in manufacturing, the application of VSM or value stream mapping isn’t limited to manufacturing. VSM has progressed in knowledge work because it drives better team communication and collaboration results.
Most of the handoffs in knowledge work come between team members, which leads to poor quality and low productivity. And value stream mapping helps you detect the waste and improve the production process.
You can apply VSM to both customers, and product delivery flows. The product flow works on the steps needed to optimize and complete product delivery. On the contrary, customer flow works on the steps necessary to meet the end-user expectations.
Your customer journey should map out different touchpoints of customers’ buying cycle. Also, it should include customer feelings like satisfaction, frustration, or any other experience you want your customer to feel.
An ideal customer journey map helps you get inside the mind of your customers so that you can understand what you’re doing right in your businesses and where you need improvement.
And to map out a practical customer journey map, ensure it’s filled with data that visually represent different experience stages of customers based on their sentiment, intent, and touchpoints.
The best way to map out customer journeys is to recognize different phases of a customer buying cycle and talk to them in person. That’s why it’s crucial to research your target audience to understand their decision. Without having in-depth knowledge about your customers’ needs and preferences, customer journey mapping isn’t possible.
Learn Value Stream Mapping and Customer Journey Mapping in the SAFe APM Certification Training.
Here are some more benefits you can expect from VSM:
And most importantly, as per Aberdeen Group’s report, when the customer journey map is mapped out successfully, organizations witness a 24.99% YOY increase in incremental revenue, a 21.2% reduction in service costs, and a 16.8% reduction in the sales cycle.
From the stats mentioned above, we can easily state that mapping out your customer’s journey can come with many benefits, for example:
You can access the return on investment of future UX/CX
Use the map to help the team understand the best practices and standards of customer experience.
In team meetings, you can showcase the map to map out customer-focused organizational goals.
Based on your work process, ensure to recognize the objectives for value stream mapping. A good example of objectives in software development is improvement in efficiency, quality, governance, speed, and compliance.
Once you’ve decided the objective, determine the start and endpoint of the value stream map. Knowing the start and endpoint helps track the work progress more efficiently and reach the destination.
Some organizations map out the entire value chain, which comes with its own pros and cons. For instance, mapping out the whole value chain gives you a better idea of the entire process. However, there isn’t much to do about the external processes.
Generally, value streaming maps start with materials delivery from the suppliers and end with delivery to the customer. But if your production processes aren’t simple, you might map out each of the value-adding processes in detail after completing the overall value map.
Step 2: Define the Steps
Now define the processes needed to go from the starting point to the ending point. You can take the employee onboarding process for any company. Steps that occurs along the way might include:
To successfully create the value stream map, choose employees in relevant departments who can make changes when needed. Ensure that the teams can direct themselves to reach the objectives of value stream mapping.
While selecting team members, remember to keep a minimal number. Ideally, six to ten team members are a good number in a VSM team, no matter what industry your organization belongs to.
Step 4: Collect Data
You’ll need real data and insights for value stream mapping. So encourage your mapping team to invest time gathering critical data and information.
Also, your team members should visit their stakeholders or customer’s office to understand the requirements of the services and products they’re offering. This will help them get a holistic picture of the work process, and they’ll be able to map a value stream successfully.
Your team should have information about the inventory items for each work process, the transfer time, and the cycle time. People needed to perform every step, the total number of products that needed to be scrapped out, the pack size, and the overall batch size required for every step.
Step 5: Add Data to The Value Stream Map
Once you get all the information, add them to your map. You can draw out a table or box under each process to add the information. If you’re using historical data, ensure that you’re using the current inputs and outputs for every process.
Don’t forget to identify the lead time required for producing the product and the actual time you invested in producing each unit. Also, indicate the pack size or batch on the map.
Step 6: The Seven Wastes of Lean
The main purpose of the value stream map is to eliminate waste. So, this step is highly crucial to creating a successful value stream map.
Once you’ve added all the data and mapped out the timelines involved in the process, it’s time to identify the “seven wastes” which can be the cause of profit loss:
Once you’ve identified all the wastes, it’s time to map out the value stream map with your team. And it’s not easy to create an ideal map, and it’s unlikely you’ll get it in the first place. That’s why you can create a series of intermediate future state maps. Then, your organization can make it a goal to reach these milestones by mapping out an ideal value stream map.
Here are some steps you can follow to create a customer journey map:
Step 1: Set a Goal
Without setting a clear goal, it’s impossible to understand whether the customer journey map will impact your business and customers. You have to recognize your existing and future buyers and set a goal accordingly for those buyers at each stage of the experience.
To set a clear goal, you should gather data about the key stakeholders within your organization who will touch on different stages of the customer experience. Also, to define goals, gather insights about the present customer journey and where it requires improvements.
Step 2: Persona Research
Conduct in-depth research about the persona your journey map will be based on. For example, you can research pre-existing data from your organization’s record to research the target persona.
However, the best way to gather data for persona research is by collecting real customer perspectives. Customers who have actually done business or interacted with your products are the best source of the research. You can gather these real insightful data by:
Step 3: Customer Touch Points
Customer touchpoints are a crucial part of your customer journey map. It refers to the way a customer experiences your product or brand. While researching the touchpoints, gather information showing their actions, emotions, and challenges.
‘The total number of touchpoints will vary based on the business type. For example, the customer journey of a SaaS company will be different from the manufacturer’s.
Step 4: Map the Current States
Once you’ve collected all the data, it’s time to start arranging them on your customer journey on the map, be sure to include touchpoints, actions, and emotions. Then customize the map with diagrams, images, colors, and shapes to visualize various experiences of your customers.
When you map the current state, it allows you to see the red flags in the customer experience so that there’s always room for improvement.
Step 5: Take Businesses Action
When you have a visual idea about your customers’ journey, you’ll ensure your products or businesses meet their needs at every stage of the map. In addition, analyzing the data from the map will give you a better understanding of the improvements you should make to reach your goal.
Once you complete your journey map, reflect and review it frequently to streamline the journey regularly. You can even take help from the users using feedback and analytics to monitor the challenges.
If you want to understand what your customers feel about your business or product or if you want to improve your customer experience, map out a customer journey map.
Value stream mapping is the answer to identifying and removing waste in your work process to take your business to new heights. rum Assessments" width="1200" height="628" />
Naveen is a professional agile coach and has been working independently for a long time in the Asia Pacific. He works with the software development team and product team to develop awesome products based on empirical processes.WhatsApp Us