Value stream management has been a ‘thing’ in manufacturing for a long time, but it’s only been a handful of years since it’s been applied to the manufacture of software.

In that time, there has been lots of adoption within companies reliant upon software to drive their businesses, and some problems in companies unfamiliar with Agile and Lean practices, or the fact that there is no prescriptive, standard way to create and manage value streams.

Late last month, Broadcom — whose spin on value stream management falls under their BizOps umbrella — sponsored a survey of global business executives and IT leaders executed by Dimensional Research called “2022: Value Stream Management Adoption Accelerates.” 

The findings are both expected and revelatory.

As you’d expect, the study found that companies are keenly focused on becoming more efficient in 2022, while improving the quality of their products and delivering more value to their customers. Those are the pillars upon which organizations are finding success with value streams.

Another finding you’d expect is that 94% of respondents say their organizations are undergoing a digital transformation, 45% are adopting DevOps, and 34% are adopting Agile practices. Another 42% said they are adopting value streams, somewhat surprising in that its application to companies creating software is relatively new. A CIO of a financial institution quoted in the report said, “Value streams are a natural progression from DevOps and Agile. With scrums we often lost user scenarios, customer stories and detailed requirements documents. Value streams bring that back.”

But what struck me as surprising in the findings — given the number of conversations we’ve had at SD Times with companies that are enthusiastically embracing Agile and DevOps today — is that they still lack visibility into their processes, still have silos of workers and information that invariably slow down the product delivery cycle, and a stunning lack of a clear understanding of how products specifically deliver value to their customers.

“In many organizations, business leaders don’t know how to predict customer value, but this is where it needs to start,” said Laureen Knudsen, chief transformation officer at Broadcom. “If the business doesn’t know what value the strategy will provide, it can’t be found when coding. Also, in many organizations there is still a gap between strategic plans (annual strategies are 12 months of work) and what is done in two-week sprints. One of the biggest benefits of agility to companies who actually practice it well is the