Value Stream Management

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Value Stream

Value Stream is the series of steps to create value to a customer, from planning to realization of value by the customer. The stages in a DevOps process include (agile) planning, building the software, integration and testing, releasing to production, and operation.

Value Stream Map

Value Stream Map is a visual illustration of the value stream that displays all critical steps and quantifies the time taken at each stage. You can create a value stream map that allows you to see:

  • The stages of DevOps process and their cycle times

  • The number of work items piling up in each stage

  • The number of people to whom the work has been assigned in each phase

The stages are fully configurable. Here is an example of a DevOps Value Stream Map:

A value stream map example

You can draw the following conclusions from the above value stream map:

  • The process stages are Planning, Development, and Releasing.

  • There are 70 items under Planning, 56 being developed and 34 ready and tested but waiting for releasing to Production.

  • 13 people have been assigned user stories the implementation of which hasn’t yet stared. 17 developers work on completing active user stories and 10 have been assigned user stories that are waiting for the production update.

  • It has taken on average 1 day 19 h 28 min to plan the user stories until their implementation starts. The average development time has been 2 days 20 h 7 min. The resolved user stories have waited for releasing to Production on average 5 days 2 h 22 min.

A value stream map allows you to see the bottlenecks of the value stream. The number of work items per stage makes the queues visible, i.e. where the work items pile up. Resource allocation may reveal resource constraints in the process. Understanding cycle times and their trends is essential to see where the time is spent in the process. This information allows you to focus on the constraint and conclude the actions that allow you to accelerate the flow of value.

Creating a Value Stream Map

You can create a value stream map on a dashboard by defining the process stages and Value Stream Map Blocks as follows:

  1. Create or select an existing Quality Intelligence for DevOps dashboard and open it.

  2. Press Add widget on top left to create one Value Stream Map Block.

  3. Give the name of the process stage, an optional description and select Value Stream Map Block as the widget type.

  4. The value stream map will show how work items (user stories, bugs) move in the value stream. Select a source that provides data for the items you want to track.

  5. Select the state that represents the process stage that the block measures. For instance, Active state or its sub-state typically represents development phase.

  6. The Days selector defines the date range you want to observe, from the current date backwards. If you select, say, 30 days then the cycle time to be shown in the value stream map block will be calculated based on those items that had been in this process stage during the last 30 days and have changed state. That is, the cycle time is calculated only based on those items for which we know the time interval between the state changes.

You can add as many value stream map blocks as you need to represent your process stages. You can also give any names for the blocks i.e. for the process stages.