Value Streams in Enterprise Software Delivery

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First it was “Waterfall”. Then it was “Agile” and “DevOps”. Now the concept du jour in the enterprise software delivery space is “value stream” – and for good reason.

Many enterprises in the Fortune 100 are no longer focusing purely on how to build software, but why they’re building software. A seismic shift is taking place – it’s not just about how fast you can deliver, but how much value you can deliver at speed. So by focusing on the why, you can begin optimizing the how.

But what is a value stream and how does it apply to software delivery? The concept was coined by Toyota, the Japanese car manufacturer, who developed the Value Stream Mapping concept to introduce lean principles to its assembly line to reduce end-to-end lead time.

A value stream is a sequence of activities that an organization undertakes to deliver on a customer request” – Value Stream Mapping: How to visualize work and align leadership for organizational transformation

But as Tasktop’s leader of Digital Transformation – Dominica DeGrandis – highlights in her new article Rowing in the same direction: use value streams to align work, your organization needs to understand its own definition of value first. Is it investment ROI? Shareholder profits? Customer experience? Adhering to company vision and ethos? Securing venture capital dollars?

To that end, we propose a new definition:

“A value stream encompasses all activities undertaken from beginning to end for a specific product or service in order to provide business value.”

Check out Dominica’s piece for AgileConnection for a better understanding of what value streams are, why they matter, how to define your organization’s value, and how best to exploit them.

Only once this value has been defined, can an organization begin to provide visibility into how business value is created and how they can optimize this flow across the business – including their software delivery teams. Value stream integration is critical for flowing business value from ideation to production, and a core component for scaling Agile and DevOps transformations. 

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Want to know more? Contact us today for a deeper overview of how the world’s most successful and impactful organizations are integrating their value streams to optimize their software delivery and digital transformations.

 

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