The heart of DevOps Flow is Value Stream Mapping, charting and optimizing the sequence of process steps required to deliver software.
In this Cutter article Alan Shalloway explores the general value of VSM within the enterprise, emphasizing the importance for senior leaders to drive it’s adoption.
Applying it specifically to software development the DevOps Institute explains why it is necessary, stating it’s essential to understand the flow of work across the value stream from the idea to software deployment and ensure that we set up feedback loops until the customer or the user realizes the business value.
As Dominica DeGrandis explains in this blog the disconnects between systems and departments are typically the main focal point of errors and lost time and delays. The handoffs generate a considerable wastage of time and effort, slowing the DevOps Flow.
SAFe – A Portfolio of Value Streams
DevOps also encompasses the organizational and team practices, referring to the fusion of previous distinct departmental functions of software development and IT operations, a distinction that often leads to the kinds of challenges that silos usually create. It sets out to break down the artificial boundaries that develop profusely in large, hierarchical organizations, and instead self-organise around a ‘delivery pipeline’ of the work required to deploy code faster and with fewer errors.
This broader perspective of organizational structures highlights practices such as SAFe, where they describe how value streams are organized into portfolios. Each value stream delivers one or more solutions—in the form of products and services—to the customer. Budgets are allocated directly to value streams, funding the people, systems, and materials required to deliver those solutions.
Many DevOps vendors align themselves to and offer capabilities of mapping Value Streams to development processes.
For example GitLab’s Value Stream Management helps businesses visualize their end-to-end DevOps workstream, identify and target waste and inefficiencies, and take action to optimize those workstreams to deliver the highest possible velocity of value.
Harness provides insights into the history and practices of VSM in this guide. Harness is the industry’s first Software Delivery Platform to use AI to simplify your DevOps processes – CI, CD, Feature Flags, Cloud Costs, and much more.
Tasktop‘s VSM platform integrates all popular software development tools, like Jira, ServiceNow®, Azure DevOps and many more, allowing organizations to see where work is getting stuck and how they can improve.