In the last few years, software delivery has changed substantially.
When you look at the delivery process as a whole – and begin to understand all the work that needs to be done to transfer software to end users – you realize that you can make software go from concept to cash both faster and faster. more reliable way. Not only will speed help us solve our problems faster, but teams using this method will be able to do more in terms of processes and automation.
How is this possible?
By combining DevOps with a value stream management (VSM) approach, organizations can launch software faster while adding value to the business. In this blog, I will explain how to get started with these two solutions and why they are important. You can also watch my recent webinar Reduce the Risk of Faster Software Delivery with DevOps and Focus on Delivering Value to learn more.
Understanding value streams in software delivery
Each software value stream is a unique entity or asset for your organization. The reason value streams are important to software delivery is that creating software is a lot like a production line. The key differences, of course, are how we think about physical manufacturing versus manufacturing software. We can actually see what is going on in a physical manufacturing facility. It is very difficult to understand or see progress in terms of software.
There are four major barriers preventing companies from successfully practicing value stream management:
1. There is no standard measure of a business unit of value in an enterprise.
2. Lack of transparency and traceability throughout the organization.
3. Most organizations subscribe to issues in large batches, rather than small ones.
4. Most organizations fund projects, not products.
Moving faster and in smaller batch sizes is a better approach
We focus on faster delivery because it is proven to help organizations reduce risk. This is for several reasons:
- We can collect customer feedback on changes to help us determine customer value more quickly.
- Making and releasing smaller changes is easier to test, protect, fix, or rollback.
- Less work-in-progress reduces risk, according to Dominica Degrandis’s Make Work Visible.
As we reduce the transaction costs associated with large batch releases, we begin to understand the concept of merging changes. We can then start watching how we reduce the batch size for smaller changes in smaller pools for better results.
Start by mapping your value stream to collect all the relevant information
Practicing DevOps and using value stream management certainly takes time to implement and scale, however, the easiest way to get started is using a value stream map.
Value stream mapping helps you see the delivery stages and maturity of your software. If it helps the organization to gain an understanding of what is automated and what tasks are performed manually. By understanding more fully how work items affect the process and how the process affects the overall value stream, you are on the right path to managing your value stream.
Keep in mind that the main goal here is to build confidence in the software that your organization supplies. This means more confidence of project managers, QA, and developers, as well as the confidence of the executive team in the work done. Of course, by understanding the value of the business, key stakeholders increase confidence in the organization’s efforts and teams can plan more effectively.
And, of course, there is nothing better than having your customer’s precious trust that comes from consistently safe and reliable innovation.