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Value Stream Management: Forrester Study Emphasizes Dashboard Visibility

by Micro Focus Employee in Application Delivery Management

Product Marketing Manager Melissa Juarez shares the highlights from Forrester’s recent study on value stream management. She outlines the study findings around the challenges facing software organizations and its list of the best practices of early adopters.

What’s in the Study?

Micro Focus just published an independent study, VSM Solutions Deliver Real Business Impact, conducted by Forrester Consulting on the use of value stream management (VSM) within software organizations. Several notable observations and conclusions emerged, including the virtues of starting small and the need for a VSM dashboard. More about those in a bit. 

First, some background on the 2022 study itself. Micro Focus commissioned it to help our customers understand VSM’s benefits and implementation best practices, irrespective of vendor associations. To accomplish this, Forrester independently surveyed over 400 business and IT leaders from global enterprises and then analyzed their responses. 

In this blog post, I’ll review the study’s key insights, including challenges facing today's software organizations and successful strategies from early adopters of VSM. Before getting to those, let’s first note that VSM is based on maximizing flow and minimizing waste across a value stream, in this case a digital value stream (DVS). In VSM terms, a DVS is what we once thought of as the software development lifecycle (SDLC). 

Software Development and Delivery Challenges

Across the board, most organizations face three main challenges across their DVSs: lack of visibility, lack of collaboration, and inability to adequately measure what's important to them. These challenges make it difficult to improve processes and get a true idea of what's happening across a DVS. Let's look at these challenges more closely. 

Lack of visibility

In the study, 69 percent of participants responded that getting real-time insights was "challenging" or "very challenging." The Forrester study states, "Real-time data and metrics on a [software delivery organization's] performance are essential to quickly identify and solve problems and inefficiencies in the SDLC." 

Lack of collaboration

More than half of the study's participants stated that their software delivery organization is "somewhat siloed" in terms of communication. Silos also impact areas like culture, policies, systems, collaboration, and technology. They make it challenging for teams to align on a common strategy and cause breakdowns in flow. 

Difficulty measuring progress

Both challenges lead to an inability to adequately measure progress and get meaningful metrics to see how and where to improve. The study remarks, "[Business leaders] rate critical success factors like timeliness, quality, expected feature delivery, functionality, and customer satisfaction as challenging for their development organization." 

How Value Stream Management Can Help

To address these issues, many organizations are turning to VSM software. The Forrester study says, "These solutions integrate with existing end users' planning, DevOps, and operational tools and enable them to analyze and visualize data from each software delivery tool within the entire toolchain to map, measure, and govern flow." In fact, nearly 70 percent of early adopters said that they had invested in VSM-specific tooling or solutions. 

Best Practices of Early Adopters

The study offers several recommendations for those starting their VSM journey, taken from the successes of early adopters. These include:

  1. Start small. Two-thirds of respondents started small with their VSM implementations, and now plan to expand. The study recommends starting where the organization most needs VSM insights and moving on from there.
  2. Have a champion. To ensure consistency across SDLC groups, most successful early adopters found it helpful to formally assign a champion to reach across silos and ensure that collaboration and alignment happens across the organization.
  3. Profile a target DVS. This helps get everyone on the same page about what the DVS looks like from start to finish. From there, they can see where integrations are needed and understand how value flows.
  4. Provide a VSM dashboard for stakeholders. VSM depends on the ability to view flow and waste metrics across a DVS. Delivering visibility of these “flow metrics” in a dashboard is fundamental to VSM. 

Ready for More Value Stream Management Insights?

The right VSM approach can help you gain more visibility, foster closer collaboration, and use metrics for maximizing flow and eliminating waste. Best of all, it doesn’t take a huge lift to get started. Starting small and implementing a VSM dashboard will set you up for quick wins as you continue to refine your strategy. 

Read the full study for a more in-depth look at what value stream management can do for your organization.


Value Stream Management