The promise of “immediate benefits” can definitely get your skepticism radar pinging, but with value stream management, the benefits really are instantaneous. You don’t even need a new VSM tool to get there, since VSM all starts with a conversation.
Every organization’s value stream management journey starts with a meeting of key stakeholders from each team mapping the existing processes and flow. By having an honest conversation about how work gets from idea to execution and where each team experiences road blocks, you’re already at your first win with VSM. In our day-to-day work, there’s very little, if any, time to analyze and improve our processes. Bad habits and inefficiencies become status quo and we learn to live with them or work around them rather than fix them. With that first value stream management step, you’ve made stakeholders across the pipeline aware of these issues so your organization can start to fix them.
When you move from value stream mapping to value stream management, the benefits really start flowing. The mapping exercise gives you the state of your value stream at a single point in time, but value stream management is the practice of consistently gathering data from disjointed tools so you can track performance over time and make your pipeline more efficient. As soon as you implement a value stream management approach, you’ll start to see these benefits:
- See your actual lead time, cycle time, and throughput instead of guessing at these metrics based on disjointed and out-of-date reports.
- Realize the true time it takes to get value to a customer so you can manage expectations and detect areas of inefficiency.
- Rely on a single source of truth to see all your DevOps pipeline metrics in one place so everyone across teams has the same information.
- Create more realistic goals, better alignment, and smoother communication between business and IT.
- Set a comprehensive, accurate baseline from which to build a long-term improvement plan.
I’m sure that skepticism radar is pinging again – this all sounds too idealistic, right? You probably have already done a value stream mapping exercise at your organization and nothing came of it. Why will the next time be any different?
We’ve all been in big company-wide meetings that are meant to evaluate our processes and inspire change. Then, a few weeks later, lessons learned in that meeting are forgotten and everyone goes back to the old, broken way of doing things. Value stream mapping, even if it’s done consistently every 6 months, can lead to that trap. But value stream management fixes that, especially if you have a solid tool in place.
The key to successful value stream management is making the metrics big (encompasses data from all your tools) and visible (everyone has access to the most up-to-date data). If you’re data is static, if no one is checking on KPI progress, and if your culture is not data-driven, no amount of value stream mapping sessions will fix the problem. Manual VSM is difficult and tedious, but a tool like HCL Accelerate automates this process by gathering data from all your disjointed tools, generating dashboards, and mapping work items to KPIs.
Value stream mapping is the first step to getting better visibility into your pipeline, but value stream management is the key to making that visibility lead to change. With all your DevOps data tracked and measured in one place, silos get busted and IT sprawl gets eliminated. When everyone from IT to business operations has access to the same data, more strategic decisions can be made. These benefits really can be realized immediately with value stream management, especially with a turnkey solution like HCL Accelerate. To learn more about HCL Accelerate, check out this interactive demo.