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What’s the difference between Value Stream Management and Value Stream Mapping?

Published By Patrick Anderson
What’s the difference between Value Stream Management and Value Stream Mapping?

“Value Stream Mapping and Value Stream Management are highly complementary. They look at delivering value from a whole systems perspective. The former exercise can kick off, or be part of, an ongoing Value Stream Mangement practice.” – Dominica DeGrandis, Director of Digital Transformation, Tasktop

This time last year Forrester Research declared the “time is now” for Value Stream Management and for good reason. A holistic concept that helps traditional organizations to accelerate the value delivery of their software products in the Age of Digital Disruption, Value Stream Management (VSM) goes beyond Agile and DevOps to help established enterprises compete with tech giants, startups and other digital-natives.

VSM exposes all the activities that take place to plan, build and deliver a software product across four key stages – ideate, create, release and operate. In doing so, we can see where business value is created, and where it is lost, and begin making informed decisions that actually improve time to value of software products to better support our digital transformations. Finally, “non-tech” organizations have a practice available that is focussed on extracting more business value from IT and enables them to compete.

At the same time, all this talk of value streams and Value Stream Mapping – also acronymized as VSM – is causing some confusion. Isn’t that an old Lean manufacturing method used by the likes of Toyota et al.?

While the two “VSMs” are different concepts, they are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they’re complementary. To understand how both practices work, we need to define what they are and what they can do.

Dominica’s DeGrandis, Tasktop’s Director of Digital Transformation, expands on this in her Information Management article ‘Using Value Stream Management and Mapping to boost business innovation’, and the below BrightTALK webinar – presented with Carmen DeArdo, Senior VSM Strategist at Tasktop.

Start your journey into Flow and Value Stream Management

Transformations can be tough, especially when you don’t have clear insight as to where your organization should start and what will provide your company with immediate and long-term success. This is why Tasktop has developed a number of service offerings to ensure you’re not only educated in the importance of value stream management, but you’re equipped to make significant steps towards your organization’s transformation journey.

Visualize your value stream (with one of Tasktop’s Value Stream  Architects): This free one-hour consulting session will help you identify the value streams within your organization today, visualize the flow of work, and help identify opportunities to make your value stream more tangible. Learn more.

Introduction to value streams (with Brian Ashcraft): This two-hour training course enables you on the fundamentals of getting started with a VSM initiative, including common attributes, an improvement methodology, analytical methods, and a tooling assessment. After attending training, you will have the knowledge to become a VSM ambassador at your organization or agency. Learn more.

Flow 101 Workshop (with Dominica DeGrandis): Flow is the continuous smooth and fast delivery of business value, and is the first of the three foundational principles underpinning DevOps. This two-day hands-on workshop shows you how to enable flow in your organization using lean practices. The workshop is best suited for teams engaged in Agile or DevOps transformations who are looking to leverage Value Stream thinking to make their transformations more successful. This gives teams the opportunity to discuss and determine prioritization policies, workflow design, and metrics used to measure team performance. Learn more.

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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.