A consortium dedicated to advancing the adoption of value stream management best practices is being launched today with backing from Digital.ai, HCL Software, Plutora, ServiceNow and Tasktop.
The Value Stream Management Consortium (VSMC) will create an open community around which organizations that are seeking to expand DevOps workflows and processes across functions and organizations can more easily collaborate.
VSMC chair Helen Beal said that while value stream management has been around as a concept for years, the number of organizations that have fully embraced the concept remains relatively small. The VSMC is dedicated to enabling organizations to orchestrate software development processes more flexibly, she said.
That goal has proven elusive, because it requires a level of collaboration between release managers, DevOps managers and product managers as well as IT and business leaders. Value stream management provides a framework for enabling organizations to embrace value stream management concepts as they become more adept at employing DevOps workflows to manage multiple application development initiatives simultaneously.
Initially, Beal said, the VSMC will function as a central hub of information and education pertaining to value stream management. Ongoing research will track how organizations measure value. Eventually, the VSMC will provide certified training, Beal added.
The concept of value stream management traces its lineage back to lean manufacturing methods, which called for each step of a manufacturing process to be continuously measured. As software development has evolved from being a craft to a process that is automated as much as possible using DevOps best practices, an appreciation for the value of monitoring things such as the impact of missed software development deadlines on the business is growing steadily as organizations realize how dependent on software they have become.
As organizations come to terms with this new reality, many also realize there is a much greater need to align software development with their core business processes. Value stream management platforms automatically take technical metrics, gathered via a DevOps process, and match them to a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) defined by business leaders. The challenge many organizations still face is making sure they have the tools in place to collect the appropriate technical metrics and then define the KPIs that truly matter to the business. Once those metrics are gathered and KPIs established, organizations are then able to apply advanced analytics to the massive amounts of DevOps data they collect.
Business leaders are especially anxious to understand how any software development project delay might impact future revenue projections. Rather than being a set of tools employed mainly by IT leaders to track software development projects, value stream management platforms make it possible for other stakeholders to track KPIs spanning multiple software development projects. It then becomes easier to make informed decisions about how to reassign resources across various projects as different bottlenecks are encountered.
It may be a while before organizations achieve that level of DevOps sophistication, but as software continues to eat the world it’s only a matter of time before value stream management becomes the table stakes organizations will need to survive and, hopefully, thrive.