Today’s companies are drowning in bits and bytes. According to Hubspot, the average enterprise manages 347.56 TB of data, while Splunk claims 55% of business data is unused. It’s obvious that organizations need to utilize data more effectively. When they do, they’re in a better position to enable effective value stream management.

Both data and value stream management have become competitive issues. When data remains trapped in application silos, value stream management fails to deliver on its promise. 

“There’s a lot of waste when it comes to data. If organizations aren’t using 55% of it, it can cost them millions of dollars of data collection and storage investments that aren’t providing any value,” said Laureen Knudsen, chief transformation officer at Broadcom. “If you consider the sheer amount of data that tools in a value stream are producing, it equates to more waste and slower value delivery time frames when everyone’s trying to speed up to stay competitive.”

Some organizations don’t know how they’re using data or how they want to use data. 

Another common problem is data lakes. Organizations are throwing all kinds of data into a data lake, hoping it will produce some sort of value eventually. 

Meanwhile, dashboards have become so complex that executives don’t understand what’s being presented to them. Worse, the dashboard may indicate that all is well when all is not well. 

Yet another challenge is success measurement. A recent survey found that 68% of companies struggle to create business metrics from their data. 

“A lot of people aren’t really sure what data will have a material impact on their business,” said Knudsen. “Look at how you’re measuring your people because you want to get something out the door quickly, but [if] you’re adding constraints that serve as obstacles to value delivery, then you’re never really going to have a true value stream.”

To achieve a true value stream, everyone must have the same goals, such as improving customer experience. Everyone should also have the same definition of “done.”

“One company I worked for had 35 different kinds of strategic projects globally. We all used a standardized definition of ‘done’ so that the leaders could see, even a high level, how each segment was doing,” said Knudsen. “At the team level, your tools should accurately track reality. If a user story is accepted after the time box is over, does it count towards the team velocity? It shouldn’t yet some tools report this way. You’ve got to have consistency to the data so when you roll it up from software development and delivery to the C-suite, it tells the same story.”

The Role Data Plays in Value Stream Management

Sophisticated data driven companies move orders of magnitude faster than other organizations because they understand what data they have, what data they need and how to operationalize it all so they can drive value from it.

“You can look at throughput reports, but if you don’t know what ‘done’ means then done could mean the coding is done but the code hasn’t been tested,” said Knudsen. “Your throughput may look great because people have marked their work complete and that can impact the whole flow from top to bottom in your value stream. The details will make or break the effectiveness of your value stream.”

Despite the sheer volume of data organizations have at their disposal, they still may lack the data they need to meet their goals. In addition, the quality of the data will determine whether value stream insights are trustworthy or not. Finally, data access and flow speeds will determine how agile a company can be. In fact, 74% of organizations fail to have key data available in real-time, which inhibits timely, data driven decision-making.

“Data is essential to the value stream,” said Knudsen. “You can’t have gaps in data or the value stream. Work and data have to flow through the organization seamlessly and it has to make sense.”

Data can help pinpoint the areas of friction in value stream flow.

“You can’t have really good value streams unless you have a frictionless end-to-end data flow,” said Knudsen. “But when you achieve that flow, your company can be more agile, insight-driven, innovative and competitive.”

Unleash the Power of Value Stream Management

Join Broadcom, Chipotle, Boeing, Hershey and retired NASA astronaut Leland Melvin for the Value Stream Management Summit online, June 23, 2021. The event will address the strategic and tactical issues today’s companies must master. 

Learn more on our registration page.


Content provided by SD Times and Broadcom