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Value stream management can give you immediate benefits, like detecting bottlenecks in your DevOps pipeline, and short-term benefits, like improved throughput. But once you’ve discovered inefficiencies and fixed them, what good can VSM do for your organization? A good value stream management tool is actually most beneficial as a long-term strategy device, and the immediate benefits you get from it are just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s explore what happens after five-to-ten years of using value stream management. 

Make smarter, more efficient investments 

When you have transparent, accurate data across your DevOps pipeline, it becomes so much easier to appropriately allocate resources. When you start using a VSM tool, you can see where your current waste is and make moves to fix it. Over the years, VSM helps you optimize your pipeline so you don’t create new waste and have more efficient flow. With the right data in hand, you can make better decisions on when to hire more people, what tools to cut, and which projects yield the most ROI. 

Protect your organization from disruption 

Imagine it’s March 2020 and you’ve had a VSM tool in place for 5 years. The COVID-19 pandemic shifts every organization’s priorities and how and where we work. With your value stream data, you could more strategically and intelligently realign resources if cuts are needed, and more effectively support individuals and track work items during the shift to remote work. 

We’re seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but there’s always a new disruptor around the corner, whether it’s an international economic event or a new competitor in your own industry. Value stream management isn’t about fixing what’s wrong now – it’s about being prepared to pivot when the environment or industry demands. With insights from a tool like HCL Accelerate, your organization can pinpoint the impact of any external or internal change and make appropriate adjustments in the value stream to stay competitive. 

Foster a data-driven culture 

With a value stream management tool that makes data big and visible across the organization, it’s easier to build a data-driven DevOps culture. The goal of a platform like HCL Accelerate isn’t to generate reports for execs. It’s about creating equity of information so everyone across teams and functions can be more aware of how their work contributes to business goals. This kind of information transparency leads to greater individual motivations and responsibility, and greater inter-departmental collaboration.  

A data-driven culture lends itself to more data-specific roles like Value Stream Manager and Value Stream Analyst. A couple years into your organization’s VSM journey, hiring individuals to focus on interpreting value stream metrics and applying them to strategy and roadmap decisions could be a natural next step in your DevOps transformation. 

Facilitate business growth 

With VSM, the old excuse of “this is how we’ve always done things” disappears when data enforces reasons for change. It’s hard to stay static when combined metrics from across your DevOps pipeline are telling you to try a new approach. On the flip side, a good value stream management tool provides guardrails for changes to your pipeline by helping you make decisions based on data rather than hunches. Plus, you can use a tool like HCL Accelerate to quickly see the effects of new strategies, processes, tools, or teams with automatically generated reports and key performance indicator tracking. 

It’s tempting to the stay the same, especially at large companies where change is more regulated and difficult. However, change is necessary to stay competitive and being slow to innovate is the downfall of many established organizations. With value stream management, it’s much easier to recognize and justify when change is needed for any element of your DevOps pipeline. With the right data at the right time, your organization can make faster decisions and keep customers satisfied.  

Do I really need a VSM tool to do this? 

You might be tempted to forego a VSM tool. But your DevOps transformation will be much more difficult and manual. Do you really have the time and patience to collect all the data from disjointed tools, gather status updates from individuals across every team involved in your pipeline, manage data security for this information, and interpret this information in an easy-to-understand format across the organization? And remember, this isn’t a one-time thing or even an every6-months thing – you have to keep this data fresh every day.  

From the moment you implement a robust value stream management platform like HCL Accelerate at your organization, you’ll see benefits in your DevOps processes and culture. In the first few months, you’ll be able to identify bottlenecks, surface best practices, and improve performance within teams. After a few years, these enhancements will extend across teams so you can optimize the entire pipeline.  

Don’t wait on adopting value stream management – you risk being left behind. As renowned scholar Dr. W. Edwards Deming said, “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” Start by adopting value stream management. Then, back up any future changes with data from a strong VSM tool. 

Want to see our VSM tool, HCL Accelerate, in action? Check out our interactive demo here. 

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