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    September 23, 2022

    The Top 4 Value Stream Management Obstacles — and How ValueOps Helps

    Value Stream Management (VSM) has emerged as an urgent, strategic imperative for leaders across a wide range of enterprises and industries. Today, VSM represents a fundamental approach for gaining alignment across the enterprise and accelerating digital transformation initiatives. For this reason, interest in and adoption of VSM continues to grow.

    However, many organizations are contending with some key obstacles in their VSM adoption. A new report draws on an extensive survey to reveal where organizations are in their journeys and some of the hurdles they face. The report, entitled “The State of Value Stream Management Report 2022,” provides extensive guidance on how teams can better understand their current state and identify next steps to take to maximize success. Given our leadership position in this market, the ValueOps team has worked with the VSM Consortium in several ways, including as a co-author of this new report.

    The report offers an overview of the VSM Consortium’s Implementation Roadmap, and examines how organizations are progressing along essential stages. At a high level, the report’s findings indicate that two-thirds of teams have been actively engaged in earlier phases of the roadmap, but only one-third have made it to the latter phases of the process.

    What’s holding teams back? The report underscores some of the most persistent obstacles teams are currently contending with.

    Obstacle 1: Resource Constraints

    The Obstacle

    When asked about barriers to VSM adoption, “No resources for this” was the top- rated answer, receiving about 20% of responses. Teams making this comment were referring to skills, budget, and time.

    More specifically, when asked why they don’t implement value stream mapping, one of the early phases of implementing VSM, “We don’t have the resources” was the top-ranked answer, which is up from number six in the prior year’s survey. These findings underscore how critical this issue is, and how the pressures continue to mount.

    How ValueOps Can Help

    Like any strategic initiative, VSM requires time and money to be invested. However, through these investments, teams can see near-term gains and establish the optimization that yields compounding benefits over time.

    The challenge is that for many leaders, a lack of visibility impedes even initial investments in VSM. It isn't easy for leaders to make a case for new investments without complete, current visibility into how their teams are performing and where bottlenecks are. ValueOps VSM delivers comprehensive visibility into existing workstreams and investments, helping leaders plot their early VSM spending more intelligently. Once VSM is implemented, ValueOps provides real-time metrics and insights across the value stream, helping guide ongoing optimization.

    Obstacle 2: Lack of Focus

    The Obstacle

    18% of respondents said their VSM barrier was that “we have too many other active change programs.” VSM follows on the heels of other large-scale changes, particularly moves to adopt lean, agile, and DevOps. These initiatives have taken place over the course of years and they’ve entailed significant investments in time and money.

    Further, all these efforts are also invariably happening in parallel with other strategic corporate-level initiatives like mergers and acquisitions, regulatory compliance, organizational restructuring, and many more.

    How ValueOps Can Help

    The reality is that VSM shouldn’t be seen as additive, as yet another initiative that needs to be supported detracting from these other priorities. Instead, VSM needs to be viewed as an enabler, an approach that fuels more effective alignment around strategic endeavors and attainment of better business outcomes.

    Through employing ValueOps to power VSM, teams are empowered to meet their work delivery goals, pivot more quickly, execute more effectively, and improve critical outcomes. In addition, ValueOps helps teams optimize their focus, enabling more intelligent insights into the most valuable capabilities, so they can prioritize more effectively.

    Obstacle 3: Lack of Leadership

    The Obstacle

    When asked about obstacles they were confronting, a significant percentage of respondents indicated that “We don’t have leadership buy-in” (15%) and “We don’t have anyone to lead the effort” (11%). This is a logical symptom of the lack of resources many teams are wrestling with. The lack of executive buy-in leaves teams without the resources they need, and that includes leaders who can help direct VSM efforts.

    How ValueOps Can Help

    To combat these obstacles, leaders need to be engaged and educated about VSM and why it’s imperative, including opportunities, steps required, and payoffs. Only after this happens can leadership can be brought to bear in terms of the investments and prioritization required.

    The good news is that with VSM, teams can start small, with a cross-functional team engaged with mapping a specific product. These initial efforts can be effectively leveraged to highlight benefits and learnings, which can be shared across teams. In this way, teams can take a bottom-up approach to nominate team members who can ultimately act as VSM leaders. ValueOps delivers the insights to help leaders manage teams more effectively, and objectively document and demonstrate these gains to other stakeholders. Broadcom also offers services to help at every stage of the journey.

    Obstacle 4: Tool Proliferation

    The Obstacle

    In the survey, 9% of respondents said tool proliferation is an obstacle to VSM adoption. This is a significant challenge. When too many tools are employed, organizations contend with runaway costs, such as duplicate licensing costs; increasing complexity; and a lack of central control, visibility, and transparency.

    However, this can be a complex problem to address. For years, teams in many enterprises have struggled to find the right balance between enabling innovation at the team level, while embracing the benefits of standardized tools and centralized controls—these challenges can be particularly pronounced in the VSM arena.

    How ValueOps Can Help

    Rather than being viewed as another tool that compounds these existing problems, the ValueOps platform can be the integral solution that enables teams to optimize the investments that have already been made. By effectively implementing ValueOps teams can create a common language and leverage trusted data to fuel cross-team visibility and insights.

    That’s why there’s such momentum behind the move to adopt VSM platforms. The survey found that, between 2021 and 2022, the percentage of respondents piloting, implementing, or considering VSM platforms increased from 6% to 36%.

    ValueOps is uniquely and optimally positioned to help teams maximize the advantages of a central, comprehensive VSM platform. The solution is the first to combine advanced business and investment planning with operationally focused agile management. With ValueOps, teams can fund, manage, track, and analyze value streams using a standard methodology and value orientation.


    While the promise of VSM is highly appealing, the challenges of making VSM work in practice can be equally daunting. The good news is that your team doesn’t have to go it alone. Broadcom Software offers the leading ValueOps solution and deep expertise, enabling teams to fully capitalize on the potential of VSM. Visit ValueOps VSM to find out more. This new site provides a wealth of insights for optimizing VSM approaches, no matter where in the VSM journey your organization may be.

    Marla Schimke

    Marla brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing leadership for both start-ups and Fortune 500 companies including CA Technologies, Microsoft and Ernst & Young. She is a thought leader who combines a unique blend of technology and marketing experience to successfully position cutting-edge solutions to B2B...

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