Value stream management isn’t a defined process like Scrum. It’s not a specific thing you can adopt with purpose in the way you could a DevOps culture. Value stream management isn’t a tool you can adopt to manage your value stream.

These are some of the points made during the ConnectALL opening keynote at the {virtual} VSM DevCon this morning. Andrew Fuqua, VP of Product at ConnectALL, who wrote an article with the same title for SD Times last summer, said that “value streams have been around as long as companies… have produced anything of value for anyone.”

Chris Nowak, director, DevOps Advisory and Adoption at HCL UrbanCode, pointed out that “whether you recognize it or not, value stream is there, and value stream mapping is a way to expose it.”

Fuqua said when he sees the term written in uppercase letters, Fuqua said, “it makes it sound prescriptive. People think it’s well defined, like SAFe (the Scaled Agile Framework), which is a very specific thing.” He went on to say that “the way you manage value streams is any way you want.”

Lance Knight, president and COO at ConnectALL, noted that software won’t manage your value streams. “A human needs to do the management piece,” he said. “The challenge is getting educated on the techniques available today.”

Fuqua added that “the value stream is the flow of work. Managing it is where some human comes along and decides what should flow, and is it flowing well, and evaluate whether there’s some improvement that needs to be had.”

The recording of the keynote is available on the conference website today, and there’s still time to register and catch the rest of the event live. Recordings of all the sessions will be available for the next 30 days if you can’t join in today.