It may seem as though value stream management is a new concept in the world of software development; SD Times has written countless articles about it over the past few years and has hosted three conferences on it since 2020. But it has its origins decades ago in manufacturing.

In an SD Times Live! event, Charles ‘Scot’ Garrison, SVP of operations and customer success at ConnectALL, and Lance Knight, president and COO of ConnectALL, talked about how value stream management has spent the past two decades transitioning from manufacturing to software development uses, and what’s changed along the way. 

Prior to joining ConnectALL, Scot worked at a company that manufactured dispensers and pumps for gas. He explained that back in the day, the term value stream management didn’t actually exist yet, but there was value stream mapping, which was a tool used alongside Kaizans, which is another method of improving processes within the business.

“[Value stream mapping was a tool] that was either used to go look in an area on a manufacturing floor and map out current state process and understand what your cycle times were, and then look at how you can start eliminating waste, improving efficiencies in the future state process,” said Scot.  

Knight said he was first exposed to the concept of value stream mapping and value stream management in the 80s working for a company that produced turbine blades. 

“I was part of IT at the time,” Knight explained. “We would have to go into these cells where they were doing particular operations on a part and we’d have to determine the best place to put terminals. And we’d have to decide how to make these screens display the information just enough so that they didn’t have to do all this extra work in that cell. We would do Kaizans on these things … If you’ve g