Value Stream Management

Optimize the End-to-End Process & Create Flow


The Challenge

Business leaders want to deliver on their priorities faster while balancing outcomes like positive business results, achieving strategic goals, implementing transformational business and operating models, and solving business challenges, within the limited capacity constraints of the organization.

But leaders are often frustrated by their Agile Transformation and DevOps Implementations not producing the expected results.

  • Development has sped up, but overall delivery time is still too long or unpredictable.
  • Quality has suffered and not recovered to expectations even though a development pipeline has been created.
  • It is unclear where the bottlenecks are (ToC).
  • How much value is being delivered to the business? Is value defined?
  • Who is actually responsible for and empowered to optimize the entire end-to-end process?

The Solution

The future of large-scale digital and Agile transformation is Value Stream Management — the practice of focusing on increasing the flow of business value from customer request to customer delivery. Complement your journey towards business agility by first understanding flow and value stream management. It is a systematic approach to measuring and improving flow and helps organizations shorten time-to-market, increase throughput, improve product quality, and optimize business outcomes. Value Stream Management helps your organization by:

  • Organizing teams around value and eliminating silos and bottlenecks
  • Enabling the continuous delivery of value
  • Creating visibility into real progress throughout the process
  • Integrating your entire toolchain and providing metrics and insights
  • Aligning strategy, funding, and budgeting with execution capacity
  • Clarifying who is responsible for optimizing the overall, end-to-end process

What is a Value Stream?

A Value Stream is simply the sequence of all of the activities that an organization takes to deliver on a customer need — and all of the people, systems, and resources required to do those activities.

Organize around value, automate, and create Flow.
Image credit: Tasktop Flow Framework®

The term Value Stream originated in the Lean manufacturing movement to describe and optimize how material and information flows. Customers may be external or internal, and are whoever receives the value created by the Value Stream. The concept of Value Streams is foundational to the Project to Product movement and SAFe, as well as essential to any Agile and DevOps transformation. So how is this seemingly simple concept different from a traditional approach to business process and organization? Most organizations today are not organized around the flow of value and are instead organized into functional silos, each working on different slices of value in an asynchronous fashion. The way work is delivered may be known and documented, but the organization isn’t aligned to it or focused on optimizing that value flow.

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as a value stream, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

– Karen Martin and Mike Osterling

Value Stream Management (VSM) transforms the organization by moving beyond siloed, isolated departments and temporal project teams, to high-performing Agile and DevOps teams and teams-of-teams, working together, minimizing hand-offs and dependencies, and focused on relentless improvement across the organization.

VSM with the Flow Framework®

The Flow Framework® is a structured prescriptive approach to Value Stream Management for software, product delivery, and business. It identifies where work is flowing in your product value streams and where it’s slowing down so that you can decide how to address those bottlenecks. It also equips leaders with non-technical (and non-Agile) language to use with business stakeholders to set priorities and measure outcomes.

Agile Rising is a Flow Framework® implementation partner, with experience helping large enterprises organize around value. The Flow Framework® bridges the gap between technologists and business stakeholders, providing the methodology and the vocabulary to systematically relieve the bottlenecks that are slowing software delivery down and impacting business results. Based on Dr. Mik Kersten’s book, Project to Product, The Flow Framework® helps leaders shift from a project-centric mindset to a product-oriented organization that realizes more value and responds faster to market changes.

Agile Rising is a Flow Framework® implementation partner and can guide your organization through a successful transformation.

The Flow Framework® also provides the tools to visualize the value stream and to integrate the disparate tools being used to support it, which provides something that is often missing from large-scale Agile and Business Transformation efforts: actionable data and metrics. The Flow Framework’s® goal is to measure what your Agile implementation is producing for high-level decision-makers, to communicate better with the people in finance or business who don’t “speak Agile” and whose eyes glaze over when they hear about “story points.”

Learn more about the Flow Framework® and how Agile Rising’s Value Stream Architects can help you implement it by downloading The Buyer’s Guide for Value Stream Management and Flow Metrics.

Agile Rising’s Value Stream Management Solutions

Ready to learn more about The Flow Framework®? Agile Rising offers the following trainings, taught by our experienced Value Stream Architects:

Several of our Scaled Agile Framework classes also provide deep dives into Value Stream Management:

We also offer the following workshops and consulting engagements:

  • Value Stream Mapping Workshop — 1 day ( we recommend pairing with Implementing Flow Framework® or Leading SAFe)
  • Value Stream Management Jumpstart — 2 weeks of training, workshops, and consulting

We are also Implementation Partners and Authorized Resellers for leading Value Stream Management tooling solutions Tasktop Viz and Digital.ai.

Contact us today to speak with one of our Value Stream Architects to set up a training, demo, or consultation.