Value Stream Management: Software Delivery Visibility and Insight

Written by: Michael Baldani
5 min read


The digital economy has pushed organizations to produce better products faster, leading them to adopt DevOps and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) for efficient software delivery. This industry shift impacts all groups within an organization to evaluate and adopt new business practices to meet this growing need and stay competitive in the market.

Indeed, IT leaders implemented DevOps practices and tools to achieve modern software development, but it’s unclear to them whether there is any return on investment (ROI). Product and engineering leaders struggle with determining how to measure and manage their software delivery capability. The complexity of multiple teams, tools, and applications means the whole process can be disconnected and difficult to track. Adding to this challenging scenario, today CIOs are measured on delivering quality software products, with zero defects that engage customers and generate revenue.

What Is Value Stream Management?

A value stream consists of a series of steps used by an organization to continuously deliver value to customers. Value stream management is a practice that enables the organization to track and manage the flow of value from the ideation stage all the way to customer delivery. Proper value stream management ensures the facets related to end-to-end software development are connected and measured to properly and efficiently move the flow of value related to a product or service to the customer.

But when we start talking about value stream management, you need to think about value stream mapping as well. Value stream mapping is the exercise of visualizing the process of events that takes a product from idea, to creation, testing, production and finally release to the customer. Mapping the value stream of a product helps you understand how the artifacts and workflow, the dependencies at each stage and identifying the blockages or bottlenecks that result in waste and delay delivering value.

Why Track Value Streams?

Managing your value streams lets you focus on delivering value to the customer. To do this, you need to connect multiple teams, tools and applications to gain clear visibility and insight into how the value is flowing through the software delivery process. This means having a platform that scales easily and enables collaboration, while reducing risk, along with accessing real-time metrics on DevOps performance across the teams, and tracking throughput and stability related to product releases. The goal is to deliver quality software at speed that your customers want in order to drive value back to the organization.

In short, value stream management can help you solve these challenges:

  • Poor visibility across the software delivery process makes it difficult to measure and manage DevOps performance - to identify improvements, leverage best practices and support collaboration across teams.

  • No connection between applications, teams and tools means intensive, error-prone methods of collecting static data for measuring and managing the organization’s continuous delivery capabilities.

  • Difficulty in end-to-end value stream management resulting in lack of information to track flow of value from idea to production, and guesswork on identifying bottlenecks and wait times, leading to increased waste and delays in delivering value.

  • Lack of real-time performance metrics to benchmark and track DevOps performance based on industry standard indicators related to Throughput (Deployment Frequency, Mean Lead Time) and Stability (Mean Time To Recover, Change Failure Rate).

What Does a Good Value Stream Management Platform Look Like?

As your software delivery processes become more complex, you’ll need a value stream management solution that provides one view across the infrastructure, with data and metrics that can be trusted, in order to truly report on how the organization’s DevOps performance is progressing. You should look for the following:

  • A scalable and flexible CI/CD solution that enforces an organization’s governance needs.

  • A solution that easily maps, actively measures and manages your value streams, acting as a single source of truth to analyze and continually improve the flow of value.

  • Real-time performance metrics related to Throughput (Deployment Frequency, Mean Lead Time) and Stability. (Mean Time To Recover, Change Failure Rate).

CloudBees Solution

The CloudBees suite of CloudBees Core and CloudBees DevOptics makes value stream management easy. The solution provides a CI/CD automation engine with the flexibility to support diverse software portfolios and the unified governance required by growing organizations. Based on Jenkins, CloudBees Core extends Jenkins with functionality that embeds best practices, rapid onboarding, security and compliance. It provides a shared, centrally-managed CI/CD service but delivers a self-service experience for engineering teams.

By connecting data from across the DevOps toolchain to surface metrics, analytics and actionable insights, CloudBees DevOptics helps you optimize your software delivery process by breaking down silos, detect patterns and identify bottlenecks. It visualizes the software delivery process using key DevOps performance metrics including: Deployment Frequency (DF), Mean Lead Time (MLT), Mean Time To Recover (MTTR), and Change Failure Rate (CFR), to truly understand the velocity and quality of the software being deployed, and where your teams can improve.

Register for DevOps World and attend the sessions on the Value Stream Management track to learn more!

Additional Resources

Stay up to date

We'll never share your email address and you can opt out at any time, we promise.