It’s no secret that digital transformation projects have exploded across industries. But here’s the dilemma: You can’t put your day-to-day business on pause to only focus on transformation. But how do you do both at the same time?
It’s a big question with more than one answer. So let’s zoom in on one approach to support running and transforming simultaneously: value stream management (VSM).
What Is Value Stream Management?
Although VSM is a hot topic right now, its origins date back to tried-and-true lean manufacturing principles.
A value stream is a set of actions and activities that add value to your end customers. Sounds obvious, I know. But the real challenge when undertaking digital value stream management lies in:
- Identifying value streams.
- Tracking value throughout your product lifecycle.
- Identifying friction and waste in your value streams.
- Refining value streams to continuously improve and maximize value for customers.
Similar to Agile and DevOps, VSM requires a transformational strategy and cultural shift within your organization. So finding the right tools to support VSM practices is essential.
Why Do I Need Value Stream Management?
Maybe you’re already an Agile shop that’s adopted DevOps. Or maybe your teams uses both Agile and Waterfall development methods. In these cases, VSM might feel like one more thing to add to your already long list of transformation goals.
In reality, well implemented VSM augments and supplements what you’re already doing. Good VSM practices include:
- Evaluating and improving processes.
- Identifying cost reduction opportunities.
- Improving delivery times.
- Understanding the business value of each product change.
VSM isn’t just “one more thing.” It’s THE thing that makes what you’re doing even better.
How Will VSM Help Me Run and Transform?
Simple. A good VSM approach will help improve the day-to-day delivery velocity of your running systems with no additional risk. The transformation comes when you execute value stream principles at enterprise scale, making your software factory more intelligent and efficient.
How Can I Learn More About VSM?
This post has barely scratched the surface of value stream management’s role in digital transformation. Check out our article on InformationWeek for a deeper dive.