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Value Stream Mapping in Agile


 Visually documenting a process for information flow and process flow.

 Identifies the existing state and defines future state.

 Helps in finding root causes for weak process areas. Data is obtained from different sources like technical reviews, project management reviews, code walkthroughs, Fagan inspections, internal audits and assessments.

 Overall the data assimilated through above reviews should be codified and informed to all team members on a regular basis. Possible fixes for the root causes should also be available along with each cause.

 Project teams should use these data and try to prevent same kind of issues recurring. This is the first step towards standardization.

 Once the process is matured and similar kinds of projects tried to avoid repeat errors then the team should innovate towards future goals.

 In Agile development environment the Scrum master acts as impediment remover that can be considered as part of waste elimination.

 White boarding or collaboration Hub is the best visual flow depiction in Agile development.

Since Agile is people driven it encourages developers to find the problems themselves and eliminate at earliest opportunity. It is what “be the change you want to see”. Agile lessens process entropy by making more value adds available to team. After three or four consequent sprints teams mature and delivers a good release that meets the prioritized functionalities in working state

Scrum leader facilitates the team in Agile manner, identifies issues, find and fix the root causes and finally spread the learning across the organization.

Also empower people by making them not waste their time and effort in overheads (wastes) , letting them fix their work and help them solve their own problems.

Customer drives the development as product owner and ensures only product priorities are executed in the current sprint and ensures leaving less priority backlogs for future sprints. Value stream is processed in a reverse manner by PULL from customer. Customers are main drivers in waste elimination in Agile and hence Agile is in perfect synergy with Lean.

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2 Responses

  1. VSM give lean advocates the ability to get the project team to visualize the entire end to end process.

    Assuming the complexity of multiple hand-off in process map and diamonds being process worst enemy.

    VSM will be the answer to kick start discussion and implement one day KAIZEN.

    • Agree with you Ganesh. Multiple hand-off is MUDA(waste) in any kind of process. VSM of LEAN principles will definitely instill customer confidenc and increase customer’s experience with the vendors and lead to customer delight.

      KAIZEN is also really the way forward for any industry be it IT or MFG if they are serious about sustaining in the top ranks

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