Understanding your value stream is the key to delighting customers. A value stream is the abstraction of a business process, from customer attraction through to customer delivery. It applies to products and services and usually comprises of between 6 and 9 steps.
Here is an example of an online purchase value stream.
This value stream example is fairly simple and most people can relate to this. Because most of us have partaken in on-line shopping with eBay, Amazon, Paypal or all 3 three.
Let me give you a very complex example. A Hospital Emergency Admission Value Stream:
I picked this one, because most people have been in a hopsital, and can understand what is involved. As you can see, the business processes that would underpin say, intensive care, would have many 1000's of pathways. Each pathway would depend on the condition of the patient, any pre-existing conditions, such as allergies, the type of trauma or disease, and how the patient maybe responding to treatment.
It would also vary depending on whether it was a metropolitan hospital based in Brisbane, with top-notch medical equipment. As opposed to a regional hospital, say based in Alice Springs, that may be limited by the level of available skills and also the reduced set of medical equipment available. By the way all staff working in hospitals, do an incredible job! Just saying....
From the hospital emergency admission value stream, we can decompose into people and systems. The following diagram is taken from the Scaled Agile Framework, known as SAFe and shows how we might do this:
You'll notice that this value stream example is another example of a hospital admission. You can clearly see that different words are used and the process is slightly different. This one relates to a US hospital admission. Value streams will reflect the culture of an organisation, through the selection of language, and will also vary depending on the industry and geography. This is normal and is a reflection of the complexity we're trying to represent.
Once we understand all the core systems that underpin a value stream, we can then focus on development value streams, which are also known as a CI/CD pipeline, that we discuss in a DevOps culture:
Here is a quick definition from the Scaled Agile Framework:
Once all our people are grouped into one or more Agile Release Trains, we are on a great path for successful digital transformation. Since we have now aligned our people, processes and technology towards delighting our customers.
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Paul Colmer is an AWS Senior Technical Trainer. Paul has an infectious passion for inspring others to learn and to applying disruptive thinking in an engaging and positive way.