Collaboration between different teams within an organization has become essential in order to bring the most value to the customer. However, optimizing collaboration through value streams while also successfully completing necessary business processes has become somewhat of a challenge in today’s environment. In an SD Times Live! event entitled “Unlocking Real World Outcomes With Value Stream Mapping” a panel of experts discussed how to overcome these roadblocks.

In order to get to the heart of the challenges organizations face with value stream management (VSM) today, the panelists first described what they view as a “good” value stream management process. According to John Turley, digital transformation consultant at enterprise software solutions provider Adaptavist,  “In the real world, we want to see increasing collaboration… So for me, what ‘good’ looks like is a bunch of people collaborating and working together to generate more value than any of them can create on their own.” 

The speakers placed an emphasis on measuring the success of your organization’s value stream by the joy people feel in collaborating on and accomplishing certain tasks. When employees are enjoying the work they are doing, it shows in the end result. Matt Saunders, head of DevOps at Adaptavist, said, “The beauty of VSM is that if you do start asking the right questions and you hone in on this single common definition of ‘good’ across the organization… then everyone can start pulling in the same direction to deliver that.”

They also discussed that in order to create the best value streams and therefore provide the best outcome, development teams often find themselves having to move backwards before they can push forwards. They explain that going back to the beginning and really fine tuning their processes and the way in which people collaborate may seem like it is delaying delivery, but in reality it is making it possible for more efficient delivery in the future. Turley said, “It might slow you down early on in the process, when you first make the switch to value streams, but little changes can bring benefits quite quickly.”

Plandek COO Will Lytle added that with VSM, it is essential to never lose sight of your desired outcome. “The outcome is the thing that you’re trying to drive in terms of value stream management. Historically, other functions of the business have done enterprise value mapping for decades, so the whole concept of value stream management isn’t new, it’s just being talked about with slightly different words and in slightly different ways today in technology,” he said. Lytle explained that it is important to have people involved in VSM throughout the entire breadth of the business in order to provide the best overall outcome from your value streams.  

To learn more about optimizing collaboration and driving better business outcomes with value stream management, watch the full talk on demand now