In Lean Marketing start with Journey Mapping vs Value Stream Mapping


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Value Stream Mapping is process most consider an exercise for finding and removing waste. It is a foundational Lean Tool that typically gets introduced early in a Lean Transformation. A Systems2win Value stream Mapping Excel template is depicted below:

In Sales and Marketing you will utilize a Value Stream Mapping process on a project by project basis but it is typically limited to an internal process. It is a difficult correlation for customer facing experiences and as a result seldom used. The preferred method of mapping the customer experience is through a journey map. I prefer two styles. One is just a basic Excel Template that is very similar to a typical Swim Lane chart commonly used in Lean.

From Smart Cities – A guide to using Customer Journey Mapping

Another being a more circular method demonstrated by the Lego Wheel. Lego uses a tool called a ‘customer experience wheel’ to map an existing experience. “We understand what is and what is not important to the customer in that experience and then we design a ‘wow’ experience to improve it.” Though I like the wheel better I have not found a program that could make it easy for me to draw and distribute.

The advantage of creating a journey map utilizing the Excel template is that you can easily add notes and drill down further down into a process by adding columns and rows. Drawing in Excel is rather easy once you understand how, Become Proficient Drawing with Excel in 30 minutes! and remember you can do MATH, CHARTS and everything else you already know about Excel.

If you want more information on how to create a journey map below is an excellent slide show describing the process. If you want to learn more about Value stream Mapping, drawing in Excel or Swim Lanes, I would recommend downloading the trail templates at

The Journey Mapping Guidance Cabinet Office[1]

A good post on discussing some of the pros and cons of different types of Journey Maps can be found at Visualizing the customer experience using customer experience journey maps. You may also want to consider viewing the Lean Marketing Game presentation. It is based on extending the journey map through out your organization.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joseph Dager
Business901 is a firm specializing in bringing the continuous improvement process to the sales and marketing arena. He has authored the books the Lean Marketing House, Marketing with A3 and Marketing with PDCA. The Business901 Blog and Podcast includes many leading edge thinkers and has been featured numerous times for its contributions to the Bloomberg's Business Week Exchange.


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