Can Value Stream Management Solve DevOps' Struggles?
The VSM Guy himself Steve Pereira joins Dev Interrupted to explain how VSM is starting to be noticed in the big tech world.
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A decades-old physical goods manufacturing concept is being applied to modern dev teams with great results. What can software development learn from the past?
Value Stream Management (VSM) has been a focus of business and manufacturing for years, but big tech has only recently taken notice.
Steve Pereira, a.k.a. "The VSM Guy," joins us to talk about what engineering leaders can learn from VSM, its impact on individual and team workflow, how it differs from Agile and DevOps, and why its emphasis on the creation and delivery of value represents an opportunity for dev teams everywhere.
- (2:28) What is value stream management?
- (9:03) How can engineering managers apply VSM to their org?
- (17:26) Applying VSM to individual contributors
- (23:36) DevOps vs VSM
- (30:49) Mapping
- (36:23) Intentionally engineering flow
Conor: What is value stream management?
Steve: One way to think about value stream management is just like how business actually works, or even, ignoring business, how work happens in a sustainable way. So essentially, what I mean by sustainability is, like, being able to do something over and over again, and continuously improve. And the fundamental aspects of value streams that are important are the value part. So the fact that you are connecting to a customer who says, Yes, you know, I will pay you for this, or this is valuable to me, is essential, because I think in tech, we've been divorced from that, or distanced from that for a very, very long time.
Conor: In it for the tech.
Steve: Yeah, there's been so so much time where tech was like, off in the basement or in a corner, just working away, because someone, you know, they either assume that they're doing something important or valuable, or someone told them to do something. And and then they often come back to the business, and they're like, hey, here's this thing, and the business is like, oh, yeah, we asked for that, like 18 months ago, that's not, it's not relevant anymore. Like we're on to the next thing or like, why is this taking so long, there's a million problems with this, like, disconnect between tech and business. And so this value aspect is really important just to keep everybody focused on like, the reason that we're in business, the reason that we're doing anything is, is to create value and deliver value. But the, the other side of the coin that I find really appealing is the stream aspect, the flow aspect — the fact that when you deliver value, it has to be sustainable. That's like you can think about that in an environmental context. But just from a repeatability perspective and operations perspective, like once you ship something, you know, day one is over. And day two is very, very long, right? Day two lasts forever. And you've got to come back to day one all the time. Whenever you can, you got to come back to how do we improve? How do we update this? How do we get ahead? How do we take this thing and leverage it into the next thing? And so this aspect of flow is so critical. And so I love value streams just as a way of framing, discussion, and focus, and as a model for thinking that you can't just do anything once and what you do has to be valuable. And that's just been missing from a lot of conversation for I think too long.
Published at DZone with permission of Conor Bronsdon. See the original article here.
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