Chief Content Officer,
Techstrong Group

The top benefit of investing in value stream management (VSM) is the acceleration of digital business transformation initiatives, according to a global survey of 511 business and IT leaders.

Conducted by the market research firm Dimensional Insight on behalf of Broadcom, nearly all respondents (96%) report they are seeing benefits from investing in VSM, with digital business transformation at the top (38%), followed by increased customer value and improved organizational alignment, each at (33%), increased transparency (32%) and faster software delivery (31%) being cited most often.

The survey results suggest that while digital business transformation is a primary driver of VSM adoption, the impact of those investments is now being felt more widely across organizations, says Laureen Knudsen, chief transformation officer for Broadcom.

VSM traces its lineage back to lean manufacturing methods, which called for each step of a manufacturing process to be continuously measured. As software development has evolved from being a craft to a process that is automated as much as possible using DevOps best practices, an appreciation for the value of monitoring issues such as the impact of missed software development deadlines on the business has grown steadily as more organizations realize how dependent on software they have become. “It started out as a way to gain visibility into the black hole of software development,” says Knudsen.

VSM platforms today are used to collect technical metrics from various DevOps platforms and tools that are then correlated against key performance indicators (KPIs) organizations track. In fact, more than a quarter of respondents (28%) said they will, by the end of this year, have multiple products teams using VSM.

The top business challenges organizations are trying to address are inefficient processes (49%), followed by collecting data, measuring customer value and having siloed teams, each tied at 40%, the survey finds.

The top metric tracked is understanding customer happiness (68%), followed by adoption, sales and customer support at 55% each. Fifty-four percent are tracking objectives and key results (OKR), KPIs and key performance objectives, while 33% are tracking social media to understand customer satisfaction.

A full 86%, however, are tracking four or less key metrics, which suggests there is still much work to be done in terms of applying VSM to the management of business processes. Only half of respondents (50%) said product management, software development and DevOps teams are all involved in VSM. A total of 80% also lack good visibility across their value streams and half (50%) don’t have a way to centralize product lifecycle data.

The survey makes it clear too many organizations are still trying to manage these processes using a mix of in-house and open source tools (45%), Excel spreadsheets (41%) or repurposed commercial tools (32%), notes Knudsen.

It’s clear each organization is adopting VSM at its own pace but as efforts to modernize business processes continue to expand the need to really understand the impact these initiatives will have on the business is becoming more acute. VSM may not be the only capability required to achieve that goal but it’s apparent most organizations realize it will be difficult to attain without some form of VSM.