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    February 27, 2024

    Optimizing Government Processes: How Value Stream Management Can Help

    Companies, non-profits, government agencies, and other organizations spend billions of dollars every year to develop new offerings, introduce services, improve efficiency, and increase product adoption and usage. Many times, these investments don’t deliver the value desired or address strategic needs, which means additional millions need to be spent trying to realize the initial goal.

    Federal agencies depend heavily on IT to deliver services and interact with citizens. In the 2023 fiscal year alone, civilian agencies within the Federal government were expected to spend over $65 billion for IT programs. Like other organizations, these agencies have too many projects and programs that are not delivering the value or returns needed. These shortcomings are more acute with government agencies because their “customers” are citizens and their funding comes from tax revenue.

    Most IT organizations are project-focused and set up in functional silos. Regardless of the software products or services they are delivering, these teams tend to be constrained by management and funding challenges and insufficient visibility into progress and problems. These teams waste a lot of time simply trying to evaluate which projects should be funded and justifying investments. This results in tremendous waste and inefficiency. Inevitably, by the time projects are funded, things have changed. Then when teams get the approved list of projects, they monitor task completions and never focus on value delivered, wrongly assuming that simply completing the project will result in the value they desired.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Revolutionizing Government Processes - The Role of Value Stream Management.Figure 1

    This is the fundamental reason IT investments fail to fully achieve their goals. Currently, teams commonly use output-based performance management frameworks. In other words, teams focus on planned, assigned, and completed tasks. When groups manage performance by counting outputs, it is possible to complete all the assigned work and still not realize the outcome desired. Tracking outputs, work, or task completion rather than outcomes is a significant reason projects and programs fail to generate the value desired.

    To solve this problem, you need to align around the value you want to deliver and then ask the right questions:

    • Executives should be able to get clear answers to this question: Did we create value?
    • Product managers should be able to get answers to this question: Did it get built?
    • Delivery leaders should be able to get answers to this question: Does it work well?

    However, today’s government workers cannot easily get objective answers to these fundamental questions about their investments. There is no single point of truth based on real-time data that can be used to easily answer these questions. This causes confusion and a lack of alignment, which means workers at different levels are doing different things. While everyone is trying to add value, their efforts are not coordinated.

    With ValueOps by Broadcom solutions, teams in government agencies can address these challenges and deliver enhanced value. These Broadcom solutions feature Clarity for portfolio management, Rally for Agile development, and ValueOps ConnectALL for connecting various software tools.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Revolutionizing Government Processes - The Role of Value Stream Management.Figure 2

    Value Stream Management (VSM), objectives and key results (OKRs), and Agile development are powerful methodologies that can revolutionize government operations, enabling improved delivery of software solutions that fulfill agency objectives.

    What is value stream management (VSM)?

    Here’s a simple definition: VSM is…

    • An approach. VSM is an approach that focuses on optimizing the end-to-end process of product development and delivery in order to enhance the value provided to constituents.
    • A catalyst. VSM is a catalyst that involves visualizing, analyzing, and continuously improving the product development cycle, from ideation to deployment and ongoing support.
    • An enabler. VSM enables agencies to execute their top-level strategies by helping users identify bottlenecks, eliminate waste, and streamline the flow of work to maximize value creation for constituents.

    How do you start with VSM?

    The first step is identifying your value streams. In doing so, think about what is creating value for your constituents and then work backwards all the way to idea inception. Everything your people do, from inception to delivering value, is the value stream.

    In thinking about VSM, the management of teams represents a key paradigm shift. Only the ValueOps by Broadcom solution delivers this key team management capability.

    With ValueOps, you can break down functional silos. You can move away from bringing people to the work and instead start bringing the work to people. ValueOps enables planning at the team level, so you can allocate work to teams, instead of assigning people to projects. No other solution can do this.

    ValueOps also supports traditional project and portfolio management (PPM) and hybrid approaches, so your organization can transition smoothly. We can help you get started by identifying and articulating your value streams through OKRs, offering OKR workshops and packaged configurations. One of the key benefits you gain by using ValueOps is the improved efficiency that comes by reducing the complexities of assigning individuals to programs and projects. This is accomplished by consolidating projects into value streams and allocating work to teams.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Revolutionizing Government Processes - The Role of Value Stream Management.Figure 3

    VSM

    By employing VSM approaches and Clarity by Broadcom, users in US government agencies can optimize their software delivery processes. With the solution, teams can visualize, analyze, and optimize each step of the software development lifecycle. By implementing VSM practices, teams can identify bottlenecks, eliminate waste, and enhance collaboration between subcontractors and government workers. VSM ensures software development aligns with agency goals and objectives, ultimately improving project outcomes.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Revolutionizing Government Processes - The Role of Value Stream Management.Figure 4

    OKRs

    OKRs provide a framework for getting everyone aligned by setting ambitious objectives and tracking their progress. Clarity can help teams in the US government align goals across different stakeholders, departments, and agencies. By setting clear and measurable objectives, government agencies can focus their efforts on the highest priority initiatives, ensuring better coordination and resource allocation. OKRs also foster a culture of transparency, accountability, and continuous improvement.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Revolutionizing Government Processes - The Role of Value Stream Management.Figure 5

    Agile development

    Rally by Broadcom offers support for Agile development methodologies, promoting iterative and collaborative software development. Agile principles, such as adaptive planning, continuous feedback, and cross-functional teams, allow government agencies to deliver software incrementally and respond quickly to changing requirements. Rally’s robust Agile development features enable improved collaboration, increased visibility, and effective tracking of project progress, ensuring that government software solutions meet evolving needs.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Revolutionizing Government Processes - The Role of Value Stream Management.Figure 6

    ValueOps ConnectALL

    ValueOps ConnectALL plays a vital role in connecting and integrating various software development tools used in government agencies. With ConnectALL, users can build a framework that integrates all their disparate tools and systems into one source of truth. By establishing seamless communication and data flow between different tools, ConnectALL enables real-time visibility into the entire ecosystem. This integration enables government workers and subcontractors to collaboratively share information, monitor progress, and address issues promptly. ConnectALL also enables the creation of a comprehensive data warehouse, facilitating data-driven decision-making and process optimization.

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Revolutionizing Government Processes - The Role of Value Stream Management.Figure 7

    Benefits of using ValueOps by Broadcom

    • Improved visibility. Integrating Clarity, Rally, and ConnectALL delivers end-to-end visibility into software development activities, enabling timely decision-making and fostering collaboration between subcontractors and government workers.
    • Enhanced efficiency. VSM and Agile development methodologies streamline processes, reduce waste, and ensure efficient utilization of resources.
    • Cost and quality optimization. By eliminating bottlenecks and focusing on high-impact objectives, agencies can reduce costs while delivering high-quality software solutions.
    • Aligned goals and priorities. OKRs provide a framework for aligning objectives across departments and stakeholders, fostering a unified approach to meeting agency mission objectives.
    • Flexibility and adaptability. Agile development practices enable government agencies to respond swiftly to changing requirements and emerging challenges.
    • Continuous improvement. The data captured in ConnectALL's data warehouse facilitates data-driven decision-making and enables teams in government agencies to continually identify opportunities for improvement in their software development processes.

    Conclusion

    If you are a government executive, process owner, delivery leader, or government contractor, you can realize significant benefits from implementing VSM, OKRs, and Agile development methodologies—and ValueOps by Broadcom can help you make the most of these benefits. By utilizing Clarity, Rally, and ConnectALL, government agencies can improve visibility, efficiency, and collaboration.

    These solutions enable government employees and subcontractors to work cohesively, optimize resource utilization, and deliver high-quality software solutions at a reduced cost. Adopting these methodologies and solutions can transform the government's approach to software development, ultimately enhancing its ability to fulfill its mission efficiently and effectively.

    Fred Psimas

    Fred is a ValueOps Solution Engineer whose 36 years of experience as Project Management Director include a demonstrated successful history of working in the computer software and manufacturing industries. He is responsible for Broadcom's Worldwide Services PMO and is skilled in ensuring appropriate processes and...

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