“Pivot” has become a buzzword in business, referring to a shift in strategy or a significant change made in product, service or business model as a result of experiment.
When a solution or an assumption does not lead to or deliver the expected outcome, a significant change may be required to adjust to the reality instead of sticking too long with the flawed parameters.
Pivoting suggests a change of direction and this is the intent with Value Stream Mapping (VSM): pivoting from vertical to horizontal.
VSM reveals the physical and information flows across an organization (horizontally) end to end, which is “pivoting” from the traditional point of view which is vertical, divisional or departmental way of considering organizations and responsibilities.
By pivoting, VSM reveals all the waste created by local optimizations and required adjustments at interfaces, e.g. duplicate inventories, buffers, different batch sizes or different rules and policies, etc.
VSM is a tool for pivoting or shifting the point of view, the way we look at value creation with the customer waiting at the end of the value stream.
Together with the improvement potentials revealed, Value Stream Map enables pivoting: changing the process, the product or the business model in some extend.