Value Stream Management: The next frontier in DevOps transformation - Brillio
Dibyajyoti Laha April 12, 2022

According to a LinkedIn survey, 66% of consumers expect a response to their query on the same day, and over 40% expect a reply within the hour!

End users’ needs are changing faster than ever, and businesses are expected to respond with the same speed. Enterprises today bank on going ‘digital’ to align to the changing dynamics and to maintain the competitive advantage in their industries. As a result, Digital Transformation witnessed prolific growth in the past few years, which will only further increase.

According to a McKinsey report, digital transformation and customer experience can generate a 20-30% increase in client satisfaction, which can result in economic gains of up to 50%.

Organizations leave no stone unturned in their quest to improve Customer Experience. However, there are a few levers in the process yet to be completely explored, one of which being the evolving software delivery journey. If enhanced with subtle changes, this will surely unearth more ‘value’ for the clientele, especially in the Agile-led DevOps transformations.

The common challenge today for any CXOs, Client Partners, and Project Managers revolves around ‘How do I create value for my clients?’ Value Stream Management, a relatively new facet, tries to address this question.

The Value behind Value Stream Management 

With technology at the forefront, organizations today deal with a varied ecosystem of tools and platforms. The tech stacks and pipelines are designed at the onset, but, over time, they develop some inefficiencies and bottlenecks that often go unnoticed. This is where Value Stream Management (VSM) becomes a sought-after feature, thanks to its capabilities of identifying problems and delivering value through software solution delivery and management life cycles. It also addresses the end-to-end Value Stream from strategy, idea, engineering, production, and operation POVs.

The primary responsibility in VSM lies in shifting from project-centric thinking to a product-centric approach – but how? Decentralizing the decision-making process, minimizing the hierarchical barriers, and breaking down silos by flattening the hierarchy to foster an environment of collaboration are some of the strategic changes which are required.

On a micro level, doing away with the old quality metrics like features and functions, VSM focuses on Value Streams for an improved flow of value to the customer. With better alignment, shared understanding, and clarity – the actionable insights and value outcomes ensure an organizational direction. Calibrating with vision and goals – the flow metrics dissect incumbent dollar and talent investment to deliver more value in the future.

Value Stream Management Benefits

Some of the salient benefits of Value Stream Management include-

  1. Improved Productivity & Quality
  2. Increased Throughput
  3. Reduced Cycle Time & Time to Market
  4. Higher Flow Efficiency
  5. Better Code Quality
  6. Low Work in Progress

Value Stream Management Implementation

The VSM stakes are high but can be augmented through a proper implementation roadmap. The VSM exercise primarily comprises of five phases –

  1. Discover – The existing ecosystem of value flow
  2. Analyze – The current system behaviors and interdependencies, and define the future state
  3. Design – Value Stream mapping to achieve the future state
  4. Develop – Value stream delivery and management integrated with the system and realize the flow
  5. Accelerate – Evolve and integrate other systems

As we try to dissect the VSM implementation in different steps, Value Stream Mapping becomes a critical activity, laying the foundation for future success. From a broader perspective, Mapping helps us in visualizing the value stream and identifying the problems in the existing flow. After the identification of Value Streams and accounting people for each step in different value streams, mapping is initiated.

In conjunction with Design Thinking approaches, this ensures the development of a business case along with proper KPIs, metrics, and team structure. As the mapping exercise with proper tracking is started, the DevOps toolchain is connected to obtain real-time insights in value streams. This helps in an easy transition to the next phase as we try to inspect and adapt the Value Stream Flow.

Once value stream maps are automated, the goals are set. The incoming insights are used to optimize the value flow which complements the customer experience and aligns to long-term vision and goals.

Value Stream Success Measures

Without the right metrics in place, teams cannot demonstrate the outcomes of their Value Stream Management initiatives or make informed decisions about where to focus their Value Stream optimization efforts. There are 3 types of Value Stream metrics and KPIs

  1. Business KPIs – Business metrics that show the progress of business goals, and growth of its digital products, services, and solutions delivered by its Value Streams. KPI Examples – Revenue, Customer Lifetime Value, Mean Time to Resolution, Cycle Time, etc.
  2. Flow Metrics – Flow metrics measure the distribution and flow of value throughout the Value Stream; they also help analyze waste in the processes. KPI Examples – Flow Velocity, Flow Distribution, Flow Time, Flow Efficiency, Flow Load
  3. Engineering KPIs – A set of metrics to evaluate how well the release trains/tribes/product teams in a Value Stream are performing. KPI Examples – Deployment Frequency, Lead Time, MTTR, Change Fail Rate, Tech Debt, Quality & Productivity

In a dynamic industry where the creation of unique value propositions is a rarity, Value Stream Management affirms itself as a pioneer in demonstrating and delivering quantifiable value across interactions with customers. It also provides a platform to continuously inspect and adapt as per insights and metrics. The fact that enterprises can adopt the Value Stream exercise, irrespective of their industry, service offering, and digital maturity makes it a stakeholders’ favorite across the IT fraternity.

Brillio offers proven credibility in the field of Value Stream Management. Powered by BrillioOne.ai, our robust VSM blueprint with a proper client engagement approach enables diversified offerings in terms of Advisory & Consulting, Platform Hosting, and Implementation.

About the Author

 

Dibyajyoti Laha

Product Management and Business Consultant with close to 4 years of industry experience in Pre-Sales Solutioning and devising Go to Market Strategies for multiple projects across diversified clientele. Experienced in Strategy Consulting, developing Technology POVs, Use Cases, and creating Digital Transformation Product artefacts. Certified SAFe Product Manager.

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