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Report highlights VSM value

The Value Stream Management Consortium has announced the full findings of its inaugural research initiative in the State of Value Stream Management Report. The research is designed to establish a baseline for future reports on adoption trends in the digital value stream management market and investigate how teams are leveraging practices to measure and improve value flow and realization.

  • 16 Jul 2021 Posted in

Key findings in the inaugural report include:

•Value stream management practices are more common in higher-performing organizations

•80% of teams that do NOT practice value stream mapping, do not inspect flow - compared to 10% of those that do

•Product- or value stream-oriented teams are nearly twice as likely to use flow metrics than project-oriented teams

“When we launched the consortium on March 3, 2021, we began what will be a multi-year research journey,” said Helen Beal, chair of the Value Stream Management Consortium. “Value stream management (VSM) as both a concept and a practice has been around since the 1950s with origins in the Toyota Production System and earlier manufacturing. Its roots include the subsequent application of lean principles and practices to enterprise management. Our inception and research have grown from the application of VSM within the technology industry and the resulting transformation of digital enterprise within the fifth industrial revolution.”

About the State of Value Stream Management Report

The report illustrates how the industry is organizing around value streams and establishes how value stream-centric roles are emerging. It explores how teams are leveraging value stream mapping to advance their agile and DevOps implementations and the differences between mapping and management. It presents the consortium’s findings on how metrics are being used to analyze and measure value stream flow and how teams are estimating value from customer, business, and technical perspectives.

“Inefficient software delivery processes, inconsistent metrics to measure organizational productivity or to identify areas for improvement for software development and delivery cause significant production delays, missed deadlines, and most importantly creates unpleasant and unnecessary friction between enterprise IT teams and the business,” said Eveline Oehrlich, independent industry analyst. “From my work with the DevOps Institute, we found that 14% of organizations have adopted Value Stream Management (VSM) in 2020… so lots of room for adoption. Leveraging VSM can give teams a complete view of their organizations’ development pipelines so that they do better. Unfortunately, the challenges on how to leverage VSM are inhibiting its adoption and momentum. Tools and platforms certainly can help but the vision and hesitation towards VSM remain. This research has established a baseline for where the state of VSM is today and will encourage and guide tool vendors, coaches, and customers towards adoption. This is only the first step with more exciting research and work to follow.”

“What struck me about the results in this extensive research is the difficulty that still prevails in driving insights,” said Richard Hawes, ServiceNow’s representative on the VSMC research team. “It’s still a manual process for many, or it consists of multiple silos of reporting where information is not easily shared across teams. This also impacts traceability as indicated by the intention in our future research to understand how product and service changes actually deliver value with corresponding changes in system or customer behavior. With improvements in automation, connectivity, and reporting (with AI/ML) it should be getting easier to track the impact of a change from ideation through to production.”

“The information gathered so far confirms my experience that the problems faced with improving delivery are very common and can be corrected by starting small,” said Bryan Finster, VSMC board advisor. “As an industry, we need to simplify and demystify the language and good practices to lower the bar of entry to continuous improvement. Improvement isn’t hard. Easy access to verifiable good information backed by data is the industry constraint to delivery.”


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