Value-Added Work

Activity that transforms material or information, fulfills a service or provides an experience in a way that the customer is willing to pay for.

Value Adding Activities

Value Analysis

An approach to improving the value of a product, services, or process by understanding the components of value and their associated costs. Value analysis finds improvements by either reducing their cost or increasing the value of the functions.

Value Engineering

A systematic method for improving the value of products or services by evaluating the ratio of function to cost. Value is increased either improving the function or reducing the cost.

Value Stream

A series of all actions, both value-adding and not, required to fulfill a customer's request.

Value Stream Costing

An accounting technique for identifying and calculating costs for a product or service's value stream, as defined as all process steps required for delivering that product or service to the customer.

See also Lean Accounting

See also Value Stream

Value Stream Manager

A person responsible for a value stream, as defined by a product family or group of sequential processes. The value stream manager functions in a manner similar to that of the chief engineer, aligning resources towards overall profitability and from the customer’s point of view.

Value Stream Map

A diagram of the flow of material and information through all the process steps from customer request until the fulfillment of the request.

Value Stream Mapping

Creating a diagram of the complete material and information flow from customer requests through order fulfillment for product or service family. Value Stream Mapping can be done at an enterprise level by showing customer-supplier relationships as well as distributors, at a door-to-door level showing the flow of material and information primarily within a factory, office, or hospital operation, or as a process-level map with a narrower scope and greater detail. The actual current state of the value stream is mapped first, followed by a future state design that approaches ideal conditions.


The measure of the degree to which the output of a process changes or remains consistent.


Abbreviation for Value Analysis / Value Engineering. Activities to improve customer value by increasing desired function or reducing cost.

See also Value Analysis

See also Value Engineering


A characteristic that may take on different values.

Variable data

Data collected from process inputs or outputs in which the measurement scale has a significant level of subdivisions or resolution, such as ohms, voltage, diameter.

Vendor Managed Inventory

An inventory management practice in which the supplier of goods is responsible for maintaining optimal inventory levels held at the consumer operation or distributor.

Vertical Handling

When tasks are assigned in such a way that the materials processes are being progressively worked towards completion, this is vertical handling. This in contrast to horizontal handling which only focuses on the output of a specific process.

Visual Controls

Various methods and techniques to make standards, normal conditions, and deviations from them immediately visible. Examples include color-coding, charts, traffic lights, hour by hour boards, andons, schedule boards, labels and markings on the floor.

Visual Management

The use of simple visual tools to identify the target state, good conditions, and immediately highlight abnormalities or deviations.

Visual Performance Management

This concept involves the use of visual tools and displays to monitor, control, and improve performance in an organization. VPM aims to make critical information about processes and performance readily observable and understandable at a glance. This can include metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), progress on goals, or status of ongoing projects. Common tools used in VPM include dashboards, performance boards, and visual control systems. These tools help in aligning team efforts, quickly identifying areas needing attention, and facilitating effective decision-making. VPM is particularly valuable in environments where real-time data and immediate response are crucial, such as in manufacturing, logistics, and service industries.

Visual Workplace

A workplace that makes extensive and systematic use of visual management.

Vital few

The small number of items that have the greatest contribution toward a specific goal.

See also Pareto Principle

Voice of the Business

The stated and unstated needs or requirements of the business/shareholders.

Voice of the Customer

Desires and requirements of the customer at all levels, translated into real terms for consideration in the development of new products, services and daily business conduct.

Voice of the Employee

The term used to describe the stated and unstated needs or requirements of the employees of your business.