Creating Effective Value Streams

This section of the portal is for supporting the Disciplined Agile Value Stream Consultant Workshop (DAVSC), currently under development. Discussions on the pages here will take place on the Disciplined Agile LinkedIn group.


Factors for Effective Value Streams

The effectiveness of value streams is determined, in large part by:

  1. the way the people doing the work are organized (this is called the “value creation structure”)
  2. the workflow used
  3. the size and number of work items in the value stream

You can improve value streams by:

  1. organizing people into cross-functional teams and focused solution teams. In particular, don’t focus on getting people to work better together as much as focus on having teams be able to create value without dependencies on other teams.
  2. use test-first and automated testing with explicit workflow. Test-first at both the acceptance and coding level avoids many misunderstandings before time is wasted on building them
  3. use MBIs and manage work in process. Have fewer, smaller items being worked on.

Figure 1 represents the relationship between symptoms, their common cause and what can be done to improve things.

Figure 1: The relationship between symptoms, causes and improvements.
Factor for effective value stream Lean principles Actions to take
Items being worked on are small Smaller is quicker while providing faster feedback and causing less waste Use Minimum Business Increments (MBIs)
Items being worked on are of high value Eliminate waste by not working on items of lesser importance Use Minimum Business Increments (MBIs)
Have an efficient workflow Handoffs, handbacks and delays cause waste. Manage queues. Limit work movement by organizing and allocating people to improve collaboration
All work and workflow is visible Cannot manage what you cannot see Make all work, workflow and methods visible
Work level does not exceed capacity Limit work in process Limit intake, manage queues
Good product quality and architecture Build quality in Test-First, automated testing
Figure 2: Factors for effective value streams

See Value Streams Main page for more.