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The ReleaseTEAM Blog: Here's what you need to know...

What is Value Stream Management?

Part 1 of a series:

Regardless of whether your organization creates widgets or software, reducing time-to-market for a product or service that provides value to customers is a common goal. In software development, both Agile and DevOps methodologies have successfully sped up delivery through accelerated development and removal of silos between developers and operations. Value stream management (VSM) goes beyond these methodologies to look at the software delivery life cycle from end to end. The value stream concept predates DevOps methodology and is most closely associated with lean manufacturing. In a manufacturing environment, companies trace and document every step in their manufacturing process to identify and eliminate waste. Using that information, they can identify and eliminate sources of bottlenecks, fixing one and then moving on to the next inefficiency. What does value stream management mean in the world of software development? Forrester defines VSM as the “combination of people, process, and technology that maps, optimizes, and governs business value flow (including epics, stories, and work items) through heterogeneous enterprise software delivery pipelines.” In a Forbes Technology Council submission, Flint Brenton states that VSM as “offers a unique view of the software delivery life cycle through the customer experience lens, to better align with business objectives and scale agile and DevOps transformations. ” Value stream management not only aims to shorten time-to-market, but increase productivity, improve quality, and optimize the entire software delivery life cycle to meet business objectives. This means examining and measuring activities outside of the development and delivery phases. Our partners over at Tasktop have created this handy view of the value stream:
A diagram of a value stream.

In our next blog, we’ll start outlining common measurements and metrics used in value stream management.

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