How to Create a Value Stream Map in Visio

Edraw Content Team
Do You Want to Make Your Value Stream Map?

Most lean practitioners see the Visio value stream map (VSM) as an important fundamental tool to identify the potential risk and waste. This article will help you understand the steps to create a value stream map in MS Visio and how a beginner can use EdrawMax to import such value stream maps to customize them easily.

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What is a value stream map? As a project manager, you need to visualize, analyze, and improve all the steps in a product delivery process. In order to achieve all this and more, project managers and business analysts create value stream mapping, considered one of the most important lean management methodologies to deliver a successful project. Most lean practitioners see the Visio value stream map (VSM) as an important fundamental tool to identify the potential risk and waste and even reduce the cycle time, which ultimately helps improve the implementation of the overall process.

In this article, we will show the steps you need to follow to create a value stream map in Visio and how EdrawMax provides you with free symbols and templates that help in working on complex Visio value stream maps.

Create a value stream map in Visio

1. How to Create a Value Stream Map in Visio

  • Launch the Visio Application:
  • As the first step of how to create a value stream map, open the Visio application. If you have the desktop version, click it open or visit the link to access the web version. Your Visio Plan 1 subscription will give you only access to the web version, whereas Visio Plan 2 will provide both the desktop and web version of Visio.

    Create a value stream map in Visio

  • Search Box:
  • Go to the search box of the window. Type 'value stream map Visio' on the search box and click the Start Searching button. You will get the option of Value Stream Map. Click it to open the window.

    Create a value stream map in Visio

  • Drag and Drop Shapes & Connectors:
  • To draw the Visio value stream map, go to the Value Stream Map Shapes panel on the left of the window. Click on a shape and use the drag and drop technique to bring it into the drawing area. The shapes represent the processes, information, and materials. Use shape connectors from the Value Stream Map Shapes panel to show the relationship between the shapes. Select connectors such as push arrows or Electronic information shape to connect the shapes inserted in the map drawing. Drag and drop the connectors and glue them with the shapes to show the direction of flow of the processes. Once glued, the endpoints will turn red, depicting that it has successfully glued to the shapes.

    Similarly, use the other shapes and connectors to complete your value stream map Visio. You can use the value stream maps in two ways by creating a current state diagram or a future state diagram. It depends on the requirement of the map.

    Create a value stream map in Visio

  • Save the Value Stream Map:
  • Once you have completed the value stream map, save your design. You can export the file in multiple formats and save it for future use. You can also print the Visio value stream map to use it elsewhere.

    Create a value stream map in Visio

How to Create a Value Stream Map in Visio:
  • Launch the Visio Application;
  • Search Box;
  • Drag and Drop Shapes & Connectors;
  • Save the Value Stream Map;

2. How to Create a Value Stream Map in EdrawMax

EdrawMax is a diagramming tool, well equipped with all the required features to create a value stream map. Follow the steps below and start creating the value stream map that you can later export in multiple formats.

Step1 Open EdrawMax & Login

The very first step that you need to follow is to install EdrawMax in your system. Go to EdrawMax Download and download the value stream map maker software depending upon your operating system. If you need remote collaboration with your office team, head to EdrawMax Online and log in using your registered email address.

Create a value stream map in EdrawMax

Step2 Select a Template

If you want to create a value stream map file from templates, head to the 'Templates' section and search for 'value stream map,' the system will produce several value stream map templates ready for you to work on. Click on any template, followed by 'Use Immediately' and import it to your EdrawMax dashboard.

Create a value stream map in EdrawMax

Step3 Create From Scratch

If you have expertise in creating value stream map diagrams, head to 'Quality Management' that you will find under 'Business' diagrams, and click on 'value Stream Mapping.' Upon clicking, you will see several templates and a plus sign; click on the latter to head directly to the dashboard from where you can create a value stream map diagram.

Create a value stream map in EdrawMax

Step4 Add Symbols & Components

EdrawMax has vector-enabled symbols that help create value stream mapping. On the left of your screen, you will see Value Stream Mapping symbols. Select from Process, Production Control, and more to start creating your value stream map from scratch. If you have imported a Visio value stream map or duplicated a template from the template community, you can customize it per your requirements. From adding different processes to updating safety stocks, you can modify the content of your existing theme to the fullest.

Create a value stream map in EdrawMax

Step5 Export & Share

Once you are happy with your value stream map, you can export it into multiple formats, like JPEG, PNG, SVG, and more. You can even export value stream maps in Visio and other Microsoft formats. EdrawMax allows you to share the file on multiple social media platforms, like Facebook, Pinterest, and Line.

Create a value stream map in EdrawMax

Basically, it is simple to create a value stream map in EdrawMax. Just grab a template, keep customizing, drag and drop professional value stream map symbols to make your drawings better. If you are still confused about how to draw a value stream map in EdrawMax, just check the video below.

3. EdrawMax vs. Visio

Some common comparison factors between Visio and EdrawMax are:

  • If you are an Apple user, you will find it difficult to access value stream maps if they are created in Visio. EdrawMax is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • For beginners and students, you would find that Visio's yearly license fees are way too much for the features it has to offer. EdrawMax is free to use and even the lifetime license of it offers a lot more at a very reasonable price segment.
  • Visio's interface is not user-friendly and needs some learning to create complex diagrams. EdrawMax's dashboard is similar to MS Word, which makes it easier for newbies to create high-end diagrams.

EdrawMax has a vector-enabled symbol library that helps users to create professional value stream maps and other diagrams. Some of the most common value stream map symbols readily available at EdrawMax are Production Control, Information, Process, Customer/Supplier, Data Table, Shipment Arrow, External Shipment, Airplane Shipment, Warehouse, Withdrawal Batch Kanban, and more.

At the same time, EdrawMax hosts over 25 million registered users who update the Templates Community daily. Head to the 'Templates' section and look for the diagram you want to make, and the system will produce user-generated templates that you can instantly use. Some of the most common value stream map templates available at EdrawMax are Company Value Stream Map, Production Value Stream Mapping, SAP Value Stream Mapping, Value Stream Mapping in Healthcare, Logistics Value Stream Mapping, and Production Value Stream Map, and more.

Comparison of Value Stream Map Features




Free or not

1-month trial


Diagram Types






Examples & Templates





11 (English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese)


$309.99 (one-time Standard); $579.99 (one-time Professional)

$245 (one-time); $312 (one-time, bundled with EdrawMind and EdrawInfo)

Runs On

Win and Web

Win, Mac, Linux, and Web

Diagrams, Templates, and Symbols



value stream map

Org Chart

Network Diagram

Process Flow Diagram

value stream map and value stream map Diagram

value stream map

Office Layout

value stream map

Only Professional Available


Only Professional Available

Piping and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID)

Only Professional Available

Rack Diagram

Only Professional Available

Azure and AWS Diagram

Only Professional Available

Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN)

Only Professional Available

Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) and UML Diagram

Only Professional Available

Concept Map


Emergency Exit Plan


Template Community (A user-generated platform for creating & discovering templates)

Symbol Library (Create your own symbols and import symbols from external sources)




Infinite canvas and Multipage documents

Shape drawing & text tools

Position, alignment, and formatting tools

Custom diagram theme

Insert pictures, hyperlinks, notes, comments, and attachments

Custom diagram watermark

Insert QR codes

Area auto-calculation (value stream map)

Cloud Storage

Formula editor

Encrypt files

Auto formatting

Focus mode

Custom Shortcut keys

Version History

File Recovery

Import & Export



Import from Visio and Visio Stencils

Import from SVG

Export to Visio

Export to PDF, SVG, HTML, and Graphic Files

Export to Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Export to EPS

4. Free Value Stream Map Software

EdrawMax is a one-stop solution for all of your diagramming needs. Some of the most amazing benefits of using EdrawMax to create diagrams are:

  • Unlike Visio or other diagramming tools, this free value stream map software lets you create over 280 diagrams. In EdrawMax, you can create org charts, science diagrams, management diagrams, building plans, and more.
  • EdrawMax is available for all the major operating systems, like Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • This free value stream map software lets you import Visio value stream maps, so you can easily customize and share them with your team members. You can also export the Visio value stream maps in formats like JPEG, PNG, SVG, PDF, and more.
  • EdrawMax is available in English, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Spanish, and other international languages.
  • EdrawMax is GDPR-ready, meaning that all your files are highly encrypted and secured with the highest level of SSL encryption money can buy!
edrawmax logoEdrawMax Desktop
Simple alternative to Visio
210+ types of diagrams
10K+ free templates & 26k+ symbols
10+ AI diagram generators
10+ export formats
edrawmax logoEdrawMax Online
Edit diagrams anywhere, anytime
Personal cloud & Dropbox integration
Enterprise-level data security
Team management and collaboration

5. Final Thoughts

As discussed in this article, a value stream map illustrates all the pivotal steps of any project's process necessary to deliver value from the beginning to the end. By creating a Visio value stream map, a project manager ensures that they visualize every task their team works on and submit a single-glance report about each task's progress to the client or the stakeholder. When creating value stream maps, Visio has several limitations and often creates compatibility issues.

In order to avoid wasting resources, you can start using EdrawMax, which is powerful enough to create over 280 diagrams and import/export Visio files. With this free value stream map software, you do not have to worry about formatting or styling your Visio value stream map, as you can easily import Visio Stencils that help customize the diagrams as much as you want. Go ahead and download EdrawMax today to import the Visio value stream map and modify it as per your requirements.

Cisco network diagram image

Value Stream Map Complete Guide

Check this complete guide to know everything about the value stream map, like value stream map types, value stream map symbols, and how to make a value stream map.

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