Value Stream VS Value Stream Management


David Rubinstein: Hello everyone. And welcome to the first SD Times live micro webinar series. As we've said, give us five minutes and you'll learn something you might not have known before. We're also going to be taking questions at the end of the micro webinar. Just put it into the comments section on the right-hand side of the screen, and we'll get to as many of them as time allows. Today's event is the first of a six part series covering topics around value stream management. Joining me today is Lance Knight, he's the President and COO of ConnectALL, a value stream solution provider. And also with us is Andrew Fuqua, Senior Vice President of Products at ConnectAll. So, since we are already pressed for time, let me jump right into an Andrew and get right to the question. So what is the difference between value stream management and a value stream 

Andrew Fuqua: All right, well, we'll get straight into it. Hey everybody. so the value stream is just all the steps that it takes to take an idea from, from the idea through development and get it into the hands of a wedding customer to get it into production and there's value added stuff in there, of course, but it's also the non-value added stuff or, or some of that is even waste, which brings us to the other thing that we're here to talk about is value stream management. So if you have a value stream and you've got some waste, you want to improve it. So the simplest way that I can explain value stream management, it is the improvement of your value stream or the improvement of the flow of work from idea development into production. And so this, Chris Condo has a nice definition. I like it. 

It's that “value stream management is mapping and understanding and visualizing your value stream so that you can optimize it”. At ConnectALL too, what we like to say is, “See, measure and automate in order to improve your value stream management”, or to improve the flow of the ideas through that. And it is of course, very much a people centric process, people that have to do that. Now, the thing that I consider, the definitive explanation of the value stream management process is this book from Don Tapping, entitled “Value Stream Management. It's an eight step process”. This is very simple. There's not a lot to it. And in my own words, it's just understand lean, commit to lean, pick a value stream, understand the value stream, pick an improvement, implement the improvement, and measure your progress along the way. It's that simple. 

We don't need to overthink it or make it to be a complex kind of thing now. But, to that improvement, to do that, understanding to see it, to measure it and to automate it, it's, it's a human endeavor. It takes a human to do these things. The tool's not going to do it for you. You have to take ownership and execute those eight steps. And so, at connect all, we help people do that. We, and we offer this free value stream assessment where we will take you through your value stream, help you map it, understand it, and make some recommendations. So in a very, very short nutshell, that is value stream and value stream management, David. 

David Rubinstein: Outstanding and well under the five minute limit. 

Lance Knight: You got a minute left. 

David Rubinstein: Good job, Andrew. So, Lance let's, let's bring you into this. I know one of the things that you talk about a lot are, you know, the “see and measure and automate”, as important parts of the value stream. So would that be considered value stream management? Would that be just the things you're looking for out of a value stream? How do you actually kind of define those things? 

Lance Knight: You know, it's interesting. So when you talk about, see measure automate, it's really that. It is value stream management, and it’s covered in those eight steps, right? You map the value stream, you see it, you do those different things, right? And the one thing that Andrew kind of touched on a little bit that we haven't talked about in this space is the understanding about the difference of value added, and non-value added activities and doing those types of things. So when you think about a value stream, you're mapping all of that. And you're thinking about all of that and removing waste or automating those non-value added, but essential activities. You know, the industry is putting all kinds of fluff around this in different ways, but this is what I learned in the manufacturing years ago. And this is what Andrew's learned about what value stream management is. So this assessment here is designed to help you to see, measure and automate your value stream. 

David Rubinstein: Excellent. All right. I would like to remind our attendees. Now, if they have any questions, just type it into the comments section and we will get to as many as time allows. So one of the questions we often hear from attendees and others is, how do you get started with value stream management? Is it actually creating the value stream or do you jump right into value stream management? I guess you can't manage until you create the stream. 

Lance Knight: I mean, that’s it, and I know what Andrew wants to say. You already have one. 

David Rubinstein: Right. 

Lance Knight: You already have a value stream. You're doing something in some way. You're going through a set of steps, both value added, and non-value added to deliver software. Your company's first step is to take a look at that and map it. And it's not that big a video, right? Just sit down and look about your processes and so on and ConnectAll offers a free value stream management mapping tool that you can go use and is available as well. We can lay it out in maps, get all the icons you could ever want for all your tools and all your processes built in, to this value stream management solution, go to and see that. But, you already have a value stream, just start mapping yet, find an area to improve, improve it, start all over. It's a continuous improvement process. 

David Rubinstein: Right. 

Lance Knight: You know, you may want to reorganize around value streams and create those, but start by mapping what you have now, and then you can organize your value streams differently. You already have them, sorry, Dave. I went too far on that one. 

David Rubinstein: Okay. I was just going to remind people that we have some assets available for download in the comments section. If they want to learn about these six critical features of a value stream management platform, that would be available. And they could just go right into the comments, click on that and download it and read it to their heart's content. so, moving on the questions, another other one is what is the common, common stumbling block that you guys see with companies who are trying to get started with value stream management. 

Lance Knight: Do you want me to feel bad, Andrew or do you? Oh, okay. So, a common stumbling block, the misinterpretation of what it is, right? It's you know, it's, it's something you do is just map it and do it. It's not that you have to create a community around it, or it's not agile. It's not scrum. It's not, it's just not all those other things. It's understanding what it is and just going for it. In the market around value stream management is confusing people I think, and that's a stumbling block. They think that they need all of these things in it. No, you don't have to have an agile practice around it. You can, but it's really identifying your value stream, map it, find a place to improve and do it again. 

Andrew Fuqua: It's really pretty simple. There's no manifesto, but you know, if you look at these things, it's not hard, it's just learn lean, understand your value stream and improve. And, I think it's over-complicated. People tend to over-complicate it. And in between the term value stream, the value stream management and value stream mapping in a lot of the writing that you see in articles, they'll leave off one of the words. So they'll be talking about management and they'll leave off that word and leave you wondering is he talking about mapping, or is she talking about management, or are you talking about the value stream itself? And so I think just because the words have too many syllables, creates some confusion. 

Lance Knight: And I also think that another confusion is the word value. Everybody's getting confused around the word value and this, and so it's value added activities, or non-value added. That is the point I'm getting at is the flow of value happens as well, but understand, that's value stream management, is looking at that. Right? Right? So, trying to understand is not what you're trying to understand is valuable, but what you're doing is valuable. It's the activities you're doing that are valuable exactly. Right. You know, it's so product portfolio management's been around forever and that is, that has some value added activities built into it as well. And tying all those things up and down the value stream to make sure you're delivering the value. That's a good thing too, but that's not value stream management. That's value management. You see the difference. What it's these words kind of get people, all confused value, added activities, and non-value added activities, all the steps, both value add and value added activities. 

David Rubinstein: Gotcha. All right. Well, we're out of time, but we certainly appreciate you being here today. Andrew Fuqua, Lance Knight of ConnectAll, and we certainly want to thank connect all for sponsoring this micro webinar series. We'll be back in April looking at the topic of how you start to see your value stream, and making them flow. So, Lance, Andrew, thank you very much for joining us this afternoon. 

Lance Knight: Thank you. David has been a pleasure. 

David Rubinstein: And thanks to everybody for joining us, in the audience. And as I said, we'll see you again in April until then I'm Dave Rubinstein energy invest the times so long for now. 

Lance Knight: Bye.

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