You need to start with a deep understanding of what value means to your end customers and then set out to achieve appropriate outcomes. You can’t just focus on deadlines or cranking out feature after feature. You need to understand the value of each effort and start delivering more of that value to the people who need it, and fast.
Value stream management (VSM) helps you do just that—accelerate development and continuously deliver customer value—by recognising work in value streams and managing them accordingly.
What is VSM?
Value stream mapping provides data about the type of waste in your pipeline and lets you re-imagine an improved future value stream. However, value stream management monitors that data and codifies it into a decision-making tool, so you can not only identify waste but reduce process cycle times and implement improvements.
With everything gathered and visualised on one integrated VSM platform, you get more visibility, putting everyone on the same page, an organised approach to improve flow, and automated checks to ensure your software is compliant.
What is a collaboration software?
No matter the project, you’ll likely be managing many people within a team with different roles and responsibilities. Luckily, to manage those different moving parts, work management tools can help you operate effectively.
Collaboration software can help with a large range of management tasks, whether you’re accessing reports and data, assigning responsibilities, creating timelines, or measuring costs. It provides a platform for your team to collaborate without interruption and communicate clearly. It is particularly useful if individuals are located in different areas, operate fully remotely or work in a mix of office and remote environments (hybrid working).
What are the benefits of VSM?
If you’ve dipped your toe in value stream mapping, VSM is the next logical step. While providing more customer value more quickly is undoubtedly appealing, you’re probably wondering what VSM’s more specific benefits to your organisation are. Let’s take a look.
1. Improve your flow
We’ve mentioned one of the big ones already, and that’s improving flow. VSM does this in three key ways: by helping you connect the right people with your DevOps tools to speed up information exchange, by taking flow metrics and empowering people with that information to make decisions, and by visualising all the data in real-time so everyone is on the same page and issues can be easily resolved.
2. Get end-to-end visibility
Whatever VSM platform you use should have been designed to combine your toolchains, collating everything in one place. This enhanced visibility means insights are drawn from a diverse data set, making decision-making more effective.
3. Bring your people together
Collaboration is much easier when everyone works from a single source of truth. VSM helps you unite teams and improve communication—from the goals to where the waste is lurking, where the real value lies, and what changes need to be made to realise it.
4. Gain insights in real-time
VSM platforms track work from all your toolchains in real-time, giving your teams significantly more insight into their processes. They can measure what’s going on right now, focus on the metrics that matter most, and analyse trends as they’re actually happening.
5. Measure what matters most
Get to know your value streams like never before—from DevOps metrics (e.g. deployment frequency, mean time to repair, or change fail rate) to flow metrics, VSM tools have all the measurements you need built right into the platform.
6. Up your compliance game
Define governance in the platform and automate important processes to elevate your approach to compliance. This could include testing that all checklists have been done and that any essential standards are met before a piece of work progresses through your software development life cycle (SDLC).
7. Release your release managers
Rather than being burdened by manual tasks like updating spreadsheets, VSM allows your release managers to make the most out of available data and trends, and to put their skills to good use at improving effectiveness, analysing risk, and planning the future of your value stream.
8. Eliminate test environment waste
If your flow is often held up waiting for available test environments, you’ll be pleased to hear VSM analysis takes away this pain by helping you analyse, refine, and streamline environment creation.
9. Be realistic and reap the rewards
Doing VSM well means balancing creating business value with the resources at your disposal. It helps you to set realistic goals rather than outlandish ones you'll never achieve. And it improves team communication so you can start ticking stuff off your list as you achieve your desired outcomes.
10. Keep moving in the right direction
VSM supports continuous improvement by helping you see the bigger picture, while giving you detailed data and actionable insights to improve processes and product quality. It enables short-term change as well as long-term success.
Unlock more value today
If you're interested in implementing VSM thinking and tools as part of your transformation, we're here to help. Find out more about our end-to-end DevOps solutions today.
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