What is Value Stream Management?
You’ve probably started hearing a lot about Value Stream Management recently. Forrester analysts call VSM an “emerging tool designed to capture, visualize, and analyze critical indicators of the speed and quality of software product creation.” While accurate, we think that there’s also more to the picture.
Agile recognized that by getting the software to users as quickly as possible, it can be put through its paces and drive feature/function enhancements based on actual use. Agile primarily is focused on applications and the AD&D stakeholders. Value Stream Management extends Agile to all stakeholders, across an enterprise, with the goal of deriving the greatest value for end users and the business. Business value dictates ongoing development, and feature functionality enhancements are made in response to changing workflows and business objectives.
Lessons learned during Agile’s maturation and current state are being leveraged in VSM. Targetprocess offers a holistic visual process management software solution that adapts to development processes (e.g. PPM, SAFe, Scrum, Kanban) and roles (Program Manager, Product Owner, QA Engineer, IT manager, etc.). A key point is that Targetprocess can be the only tool used in multiple processes and stakeholders, instead of the mix or tools typically used in development methodologies, especially as roles have become more specialized and the interaction amongst teams grown more complex.
Why Value Stream Management Matters?
The answer to “Why does VSM matter?” is a dichotomy. On the one hand, it takes software development closer to making good on a core promise of Agile – elevating planning and project management to near perfection. Part of that includes the ability for anyone involved to be sure that they know “the single version of the truth.” With confidence in business intelligence, the enterprise can identify both process faults and whether business objectives and business value(s) are being realized. Ubiquitous visibility and unified management eliminate doubt.
Here’s the other half of the dichotomy, and it involves another trend you have been hearing a lot about lately—digital transformation. Application development is paramount to digital transformation, a company’s competitive edge, and why VSM is so important. As Forrester puts it: “Every company is in the software business. Fast, iterative delivery of high-quality software means better customer engagement and higher satisfaction.” KPMG echoes that position, saying, “The most influential and successful organizations are fanatical about delivering value both to and from their customers. ‘Customer centric’ organizations are 38 percent more likely to report greater profitability than those that are not.”
Companies recognize app dev as business-critical but are also struggling to match their aspirations with tangible results. OutSystems, a company specializing in low-code application development, said in their 2018 State of Application Development report that:
- The number of applications slated for delivery in 2018 is higher than ever. 42% of IT professionals said they had plans to deliver 10 or more apps, 21% plan to deliver 25 or more apps, and 10% said they plan to deliver 100 or more apps in 2018.
- Sixty-five percent of IT professionals said they have an app dev backlog.
- Excessive development time is an issue. 28% described their organization as unhappy or somewhat unhappy with application delivery speed.
- Returns from Agile and DevOps investments have been slow, even though organizations are investing in multiple tools and approaches to increase application delivery.
So, whether an organization is consciously engaged in digital transformation or leveraging third-party applications to improve how they do business, Value Stream Management can support increasing value for the business and its customers, for virtually any industry. With a holistic, visual representation of the myriad dependencies, epics, iterations and resources involved in today’s enterprise application development projects, the practical objectives (simplified, accelerated, collaborative development) and esoteric objectives (increased business and user value) can be achieved.