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InfoQ Homepage News State of Value Stream Management Report Shows Platform Adoption Increased 4X in a Year

State of Value Stream Management Report Shows Platform Adoption Increased 4X in a Year

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The Value Stream Management Consortium has produced their 2022 report, which most notably shows a 4x increase in the number of respondents implementing a Value Stream Management platform.

Other key takeaways from the report show that organisations implementing VSM are using value streams to break down silos, and rather than setting a vision and goals up-front, many are just starting with a VSM mapping exercise treated as an experiment. VSM is also being used as a governance framework for continuous improvement in DevOps and agile practices, and those organisations that use the metrics from a mapping exercise wisely - by understanding the actions that those metrics drive - are those that are succeeding in Value Stream Management.

A quarter of the respondents to the survey had not completed any steps in the implementation plan, indicating that there is a large amount of interest from organisations in VSM but that actually getting started with it by setting out a long-term vision and goals is something of an obstacle. As a whole, however, the consortium now considers that VSM is crossing the chasm - the point at which it moves from being an early-market activity used only by innovators and early adopters, but is now moving into the mainstream market.

Further analysis of VSM aginst Geoffrey Moore's lifecycle show that the early majority are starting to map value streams, that early adopters are now organising their teams around value streams, and the innovators who have been using VSM for the longest are now making decisions based on powerful insights from their VSM systems.

"When setting the long-term vision and goals for a VSM implementation, value streams must coalesce around customer experience. Separations between business and technology teams must be erased—the value stream needs to be visualized, made visible, and managed as an end-to-end set of steps where everyone is accountable for optimizing both how (flow), and what (value realization) is delivered. The vision is of an organization where customer experience drives the choice and prioritization of work and it’s delivered smoothly, at speed, and with an outcome in mind that is analyzed once complete."

For those respondents who have not yet started mapping, resource constraints are the top barrier to adoption of VSM, with lack of awareness, skills, budget and time being the biggest constraints. This is exacerbated by a general resistance and apathy to change with many people seemingly tired of transformation activity in their organisations, and also fearful of tool proliferation across all transformational areas, despite the benefits of VSM to these teams being likely to integrate well with lean, agile and DevOps transformations.

Further adoption constraints highlighted in the report suggest that leadership is not enabling teams to adopt VSM, which is deemed necessary given that VSM implementations generally need action and decision both bottom-up and top-down in order to gain momentum.

A deeper dive into the report shows a wide variety of flow metrics being measured by teams using VSM, with cycle time and throughput being the most commonly mesured metrics.

The data also show something of a shift since last year's report, with the largest group of respondents shifting from being in product or feature teams in 2021, to being in agile project teams in 2022 instead, suggesting that the interest in VSM may have shifted from specific product teams to teams more orientated around project work.

"Change agents and leaders need to bring people together, engage others to be part of the change, evangelize methods and good practices, and surface VSM success stories so that local discoveries can become global improvements."

In terms of tooling for collecting VSM data, the biggest change has been one in which the use of a single purchased tool to collect data has risen from 6% of respondents in 2021 to 11% in 2022. A corresponding drop of respondents aggregating data from multiple sources (from 37% to 30%) suggests that adoption of dedicated VSM tools is increasing. The number of respondents either using or considering a VSM Platform has shot up from 6% to 36%.

The full report contains many more findings, and also serves as a valuable introduction to the concepts and methods of VSM with contributions from industry experts. It is available on the Value Stream Management Consortium's web site.

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