Process maps and the further extension of value stream maps are an extremely powerful tool to visualize your process. I am a big advocate of creating process maps and value stream maps manually. When you do it manually it establishes an environment where more participation is possible. This is critically important in the creation of said maps and the future improvements to be had.
There are times however when it is useful to create electronic maps for education, training, procedures, and standard work visuals for example. In this case there are a limited number of resources at your disposal. The options include a wide spectrum from buying eVSM to using free fonts.
A new web application called Diagram.ly allows you to draw any type of diagram and chart online without login or registration free of charge.
Diagram.ly is offered by a UK based company JGraph, which develops and supports graph visualization software and web services. This web application is self-explanatory and neatly structured to make it easy to rapidly draw what you need. A drag and drop interface is provided to make diagrams by means of clip art and pre-drawn shapes. All diagrams can be saved to your computer in 4 formats – jpg, xml, png, or svg.
I talked to JGraph co-founder David Benson about adding a set of Lean icons to Diagram.ly so that it could create Value Stream Maps. Here is the outcome.
I made this quick VSM in 5 minutes to give you an idea of the capability of this tool.
Diagram.ly gives you a user friendly option to be able to map your processes including making value stream maps from anywhere with internet access. I believe you will find a number of great opportunities to use this tool to your advantage.
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