The key to VSM is a handful of insightful metrics, explains David Hurwitz, VP ADM marketing at Micro Focus.
Organisations have a lot to contend with these days. From rising inflation to terrible supply chain issues, businesses are under fire from all angles.
Considering this, IT teams must consistently deliver innovation, which is absolutely essential in our digital era. Further, as organisations become ever more technologically powered, it is also crucial for technology leaders to move from being functional to strategic business leaders.
Faced with so many challenges, it is no surprise that organisations are increasingly turning to a process management approach called value stream management (VSM) to get ahead. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2023 70% of organisations will use VSM for faster software delivery.
Given that VSM is relatively new in IT, many tech leaders are understandably cautious about its adoption. It’s therefore important for them to undertake a low-risk, incremental way of adopting VSM. Such an approach provides them with quick wins, upon which they can then build.
Identifying the Metrics
The key to VSM is a handful of insightful metrics. These reveal how effectively – or not – workflows through an organisation’s digital value streams (DVS). Those digital value streams are what we have historically thought of as the software development lifecycle (SDLC) which is the linked set of activities that deliver software-based capabilities to the business. In turn, that software powers business value streams (BVS) – the set of activities that deliver value to end customers, suppliers or employees.
While BVSs vary widely, they all have one thing in common. Each is powered by a DVS. So, success in the digital era requires high performing digital value streams.
Now, back to VSM metrics. They focus on flow and waste. Flow refers to “value flow” – the notion that value should flow continuously through a DVS. Corollary principles of flow are the minimisation of waste (including wait time), defects and backlog. This is measured by cycle time and related metrics.
There are several types of waste, but most notable is “wait time.” This is the most obvious form of waste since it impedes flow and delays value delivery to the customer. Waiting often takes the form of backlog.
While many organisations are just now gaining awareness of VSM, some are well on their way to exploiting it. The key here is to focus on how to benefit from VSM without requiring an upfront transformation, with the high cost and risk that entails. To help guide organisations on their journey, here is a three-step implementation plan:
Step one – Profile one DVS, including the tools in use across it.
Step two – Plug that existing tooling into a VSM dashboard to get visibility into core VSM metrics.
Step three – Based on this new visibility, identify where you have deficiencies and upgrade your tooling to accelerate flow across the DVS.
VSM the Easy Way
Despite analysts recommending it as a must-do, many CTOs and CIOs are uncertain about VSM. That is why VSM the easy wayis so important. It turns out that the easy way is also the low-risk way.
VSM the easy way means that IT leaders need not overturn their tooling or organizations, making it ideal for getting on board with the concept. Further, it doesn’t require up-front changes to operating procedures. However, it does require a VSM platform designed to be light weight – toolchain friendly, able to be incrementally adopted, and include a well-designed VSM dashboard. I know this from personal experience with Micro Focus ValueEdge, an AI-powered VSM platform designed for quick and incremental adoption.
In today’s digital age, organisations are embracing digital transformation at a rapid rate. It is the only way to stay competitive. To meet this demand, companies are well advised to adopt VSM. The question is how? VSM the easy way, powered by ValueEdge, meets that challenge and quickly delivers a competitive edge to companies that desperately need one.
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