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Value Stream Management

The Time Is Now: new report highlights how Value Stream Management tools can “inform product plans and priorities and point to ways to further optimize software delivery and quality”

Published By Patrick Anderson
The Time Is Now: new report highlights how Value Stream Management tools can “inform product plans and priorities and point to ways to further optimize software delivery and quality”

“Value stream management provides greater transparency, measurement, and control of the software delivery pipeline.” – Elevate Agile-Plus-DevOps with Value Stream Management, Forrester Research, Inc., April 20, 2018

A new report from Forrester Research, Inc.– Elevate Agile-Plus-DevOps with Value Stream Management by Christopher Condo and Diego LoGiudicehas concluded that the “time is right” for Value Stream Management in enterprise software delivery.

In our view, the report explains how Value Stream Management enables companies to create real value for their business by leveraging existing investments in Agile and DevOps. CIOs and CTOs can finally align with business needs to create IT strategies that drive the business forward instead of just focusing on IT delivery and cost control.

Acknowledging that organizations have worked hard to “implement the practices and tools of modern software development,” we believe that the report highlights that even the most advanced Agile and DevOps programs still suffer from a number of visibility issues, increased difficulty in managing and optimizing delivery pipelines, and confusion over what to measure if they want to enable continuous improvement. The report includes the perspective of end-users to provide some specific examples of the issues being faced:

“We need to answer questions like ‘Where are the constraints?’ ‘Do we add more people?’ or ‘Do we do something else?’ We wanted to create a model of the value stream, model the artifacts flowing metrics and metrics coming from that, and take action. That is now how we are moving forward.” – Carmen DeArdo, DevOps Industry Leader

We believe that Forrester identifies Value Stream Management as the solution to these issues, recognizing that the software delivery process comprises values streams for all software-related products and services.

Software delivery as a value stream

Forrester defines Value Stream Management (VSM) as:

“A combination of people, process, and technology that maps, optimizes, visualizes, and governs business value flow (including epics, stories, work items) through heterogeneous enterprise software delivery pipelines. Value stream management tools are the technology underpinnings of the VSM practice.”  – Elevate Agile-Plus-DevOps with Value Stream Management, Forrester Research, Inc., April 20, 2018

Today there are a variety of tools that provide Value Stream Management capabilities as part of their existing solution for Agile planning, ALM or DevOps. Forrester includes Tasktop as an “Enabling technology”.

“Tasktop provides integration capabilities across a broad range of DevOps tooling – a core VSM capability that enables traceability, visibility, and connections between the people, process, and technology.” – Elevate Agile-Plus-DevOps with Value Stream Management, Forrester Research, Inc., April 20, 2018

Tasktop’s Value Stream Management solution connects an organization’s value stream by integrating the network of best-of-breed tools and teams for planning, building and delivering software at an enterprise-level.

Tasktop provides the most comprehensive Value Stream Management solution on the market

Tasktop addresses two core challenges in managing value streams:

  • Software delivery work is invisible knowledge work. There are no physical materials to observe as they move through the value stream. It’s hard to comprehend something you cannot see, and even harder to manage it.
  • Unless fully automated, transitions between work centers are informal and untraceable. Handoffs take place over email, phone, chat, in spreadsheets or face-to-face meetings. The value stream therefore exists, but only implicitly. It is not tangible – and therefore incomprehensible.

How does Tasktop create a connected, manageable and measurable value stream?

  • Automates the flow of information across the value stream –  enables the frictionless flow of artifacts (such as defects, user stories, trouble tickets), as well as information from events (such as build failures, version control changesets, security scan vulnerabilities and performance monitoring alerts), across the tools and stakeholders in the software development value stream. This removes non-value added work and bottlenecks; increases velocity and capacity; enhances collaboration; enables automated traceability and even improves employee satisfaction.
  • Provides end-to-end visibility into the value stream – when managers want to see metrics and dashboards to understand project status, to optimize the process or to ensure compliance, it has been nearly impossible to get a real-time, holistic view across unintegrated tools. Tasktop unlocks lifecycle data from these application tool silos by automatically compiling lifecycle activity data into a single database. This data can be used to create consolidated, full-lifecycle reports and dashboards, as well as for traceability reporting.
  • Creates a modular, Agile toolchain – software innovators require a best-of-breed tool strategy. Tasktop enables organizations to use the products that best support each discipline while getting the benefits of a single, integrated toolchain. Drives more value from each tool; allows organizations to easily add, replace and upgrade them, creating a proactive environment for innovation.

With a fully connected value stream, organizations can begin optimizing total end-to-end lead time – Time to value (TtV) – from initial customer request to software in operation:

Want to know more about Value Stream Management?

Speak to us today about a free one-hour consultation with one of value stream experts to begin mapping out your value stream, assess the VSM capabilities of your existing tools, and obtain an on the spot health assessment of your value stream to begin immediately optimizing your software delivery process to get ahead of the curve.

Download our complimentary e-book on Value Stream Management

Further reading

Value Stream Management – the key to balancing innovation with operational excellence

What is Value Stream Management in enterprise software delivery?

Value streams in software delivery

Common integration patterns in enterprise software delivery

Traceability in software delivery value streams

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Written by Patrick Anderson

Patrick is Senior Content Manager at Tasktop and oversees the company's content and thought leadership programs. Outside the office, you’ll find him reading, writing, slapping some bass (poorly), rambling in nature and following his English football (soccer) team, West Ham United.