Infographic: Value Stream Management vs. Software Supply Chain
It’s natural to make comparisons between the supply chain production process for commercial goods and the supply chain for software an enterprise must build and maintain.
Even with fast feedback loops to adjust requirements and make changes to meet customer needs, there remains a ‘push-based’ element that eerily resembles waterfall development. Work-in-process and backlogs can build up at each stage gate in the software delivery lifecycle.
Value Stream Management (or VSM) allows the enterprise to rethink its global application estate as a pull-based software delivery model, where work is prioritized based on shared goals and collaboration between IT and customers.
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OLD WAY: Push-based software supply chain
In commercial supply chains, costly inventory buffers of excess materials and time build up wherever information, resource and quality constraints occur, ultimately cascading down to product delivery delays and quality issues in front of customers.
In the software supply chain, requirements are driven into a channel jammed with technical debt, existing systems and code. Unproductive toil and trouble tickets accumulate as opaque backlogs at stage-gated bottlenecks.
VSM WAY: Flow-based value stream
Value Stream Management (VSM) practices allow the enterprise IT function to rethink and map out its global software delivery capacity as a pull-based flow model, resolving software quality and delivery constraints with global visibility. Continuous, goal-driven measurement and reprioritization of work impacts all teams as they touch relevant systems. VSM can drain out excess work-in-process backlog and code inventory, loosening constraints to deliver customer value, faster.