Uncategorized Value stream management for the win – ITWeb
Value stream management isn’t a new concept, it’s been around for many years, just under different names, says Jacques Vermeulen, Application Delivery Management Software: Pre-Sales at Micro Focus South Africa. Organisations are increasingly struggling to align strategically important business demand with high velocity IT execution and delivery. High efficiency organisations have transitioned to agile, DevOps and even DevSecOps, and are looking towards the next step, with many of them investing in value stream management to bridge the gap between business and IT.
“This gap between business and IT reduces operational efficiency, increases the risk of change and impacts the value delivered by product lines. Value stream management assists by exposing the value of the business’s IT transformation projects. It helps the business to move away from a mindset of ‘move fast and don’t break things’ to a true value-based delivery mindset, showing the business what the potential value of change is and helping it to figure out how quickly a great idea can get to market. The aim is to deliver high-value change with minimal risk.”
Organisations must align their business and strategic objectives with what the IT organisation needs to execute and deliver against. “If the business wants a new feature on an application, and needs it urgently, IT needs to develop and implement it in their production environment without breaking other things that are already working,” explains Vermeulen. “In essence, there’s a gap between business demand and IT’s ability to deliver. We want to help IT increase operational efficiencies and minimise risk.”
If the business is vague in what it asks for, the chances are high that the end product won’t be what it wanted. But if it’s accurate in its request, and everything is aligned, the business will be satisfied with the outcome. Vermeulen points out: “If the update goes through too many iterations, the project could run out of budget, or it’ll take too long, people will get frustrated and eventually either the project will be canned or the end customer will be unhappy.”
Value stream management acts as a bridge between business and IT, allowing the organisation to define, track, deliver and validate the value of the request, whether that’s a new feature or an entirely new product, and make sure the IT delivery cycle is properly aligned. It helps the organisation align high value customer demand with high value product deliverables.
There are three key aspects to value stream management (VSM), according to Vermeulen:
VSM allows business and IT to collaborate in a common and consistent manner. While organisations’ move towards agile and DevOps is now commonplace, bringing teams together in a better collaborative effort, even greater efficiency is required. “It’s key to know each person’s role in the process. IT has always been a cost centre for the business, but the reason for that is often that there’s inadequate alignment between what business wants and what IT delivers. This needs to change. Value stream management moves the business towards a new application delivery management way of working that will help them achieve their objectives, particularly as we increasingly move towards software as a service, with everything in the cloud.”
Vaughn Young, Client Account Executive DevOps at Micro Focus South Africa, says businesses should be asking themselves some key questions:
Only thereafter can the organisation decide which VSM solution will help it to meet business expectations. “Consider a solution that covers six focus areas: Strategic portfolio management, agile and DevOps, quality management, performance automation, functional automation and CI/CD release, and that provides tools that enable feedback and collaboration, intelligent automation, an integration hub, end-to-end traceability and data lake and advanced analytics. Integration with legacy and other DevOps software and ecosystems is key,” says Vermeulen.
Find out more about why VSM is critical for high-performing organisations by watching this webinar presented by Julian Fish, Director of Product Management at Micro Focus.