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Mission & Strategic Plan

VSMC Mission

At the VSMC, our mission is:
  1. Advance the understanding of value stream management by bringing together practitioners of diverse backgrounds, by facilitating the integration of research directed at all levels of organization, and by encouraging translational research and the application of new scientific knowledge to develop new principles, practices and techniques.
  2. Provide professional development activities, information, and educational resources for ways of working practitioners at all stages of their careers, and increase participation of professionals from diverse cultural, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds.
  3. Promote public information and general education about value stream management and the results and implications of the latest research. Support active and continuing discussions on implementation issues relating to value stream management.


Guided by its mission and its values, the vision of the VSMC is to advance good practice and new discoveries in value stream management and promote innovative application of VSM ways of working to improve organizational performance everywhere.

Organizational Values

In carrying out all of its activities, the VSMC is committed to the following:
  • Identifying and serving the evolving needs of VSMC members as well as the global community of practitioners
  • Actively promoting the idea that progress in understanding value stream management depends on the honest and open pursuit of practice and research in organizations and the truthful representation of findings
  • Continuing to promote greater representation of women, and minorities across the career spectrum, along with geographic and specialty balance, in VSMC's meetings, conferences, committees, and governance processes
  • Reflecting its commitment to supporting and fostering a welcoming community in which all members are able to contribute fully, VSMC affirms that sexual harassment and other harassing behaviors have no place
  • Seeking new and innovative ways to utilize technology in ongoing activities to better serve members and to help manage the problems of scale as a successful association in the 21st century
  • Fulfilling its Mission in a socially, economically and environmentally responsible fashion, including minimizing VSMC's environmental footprint through energy efficiency, recycling, and other initiatives, and being mindful of the broader impact of its day-to-day practices, decisions and actions
  • Developing effective strategic relationships and collaborative initiatives with appropriate external partners, including other ways of working communities and associations, trade consortiums, foundations, public agencies, government entities, educational institutions, corporate entities, information technology service providers, etc
  • Building a model of iterative planning into the fabric of VSMC governance and management processes


The VSMC provides value to its members in fulfillment of its mission, vision, and values through its annual member meetings, Flowtopia and other community gatherings, research reports, learning initiatives and resources, and other established initiatives detailed in the VSMC’s Member Portal and throughout the website. These activities represent the culmination of previous planning exercises that were responsible for substantial growth and broad expressions of member interest.


In the VSMC planning process, a strategy is a work in progress having four critical elements:

  1. The strategic issue which provides the motive to act
  2. A desired outcome that provides an image of what will be accomplished if the issues are addressed successfully
  3. Guiding principles that place parameters on the tactics that can be taken in achieving the outcome
  4. A summary of the actions that will be taken

A strategy sketch provides a brief description of the initiatives that are underway to address the issues on the "radar screen." Some of these initiatives are exploratory in that the best outcome or the best means of achieving an outcome are not currently clear. In this manner, strategies can be considered learning endeavors that become more precise as they gain intelligence. The following sketches describe VSMC's current efforts to address the issues on the radar screen. Members are invited to share thoughts on improving these initiatives to better tune and refresh the strategies over the next few years.

Strategic Issues Overview

With the continued guidance of the Board of Directors, the VSMC maintains a radar screen of issues, opportunities, and challenges that the field of value stream management and the Consortium will need to address within the coming years. The radar screen aims to build consensus on changing environmental conditions that may require new program initiatives or more resources than are currently allocated. These strategic issues are, by design, concise statements that represent an issue demanding attention without specifying what action should be taken (the latter is outlined in the associated strategies). The idea is to build alignment in increments: first, agree on what needs to be addressed and then agree on the best way of addressing it.

As part of the philosophy that utilizes iterative and continuous planning by the VSMC's leaders, this effort will help ensure that the benefits and potential of value stream management research are realized for individuals and society as a whole. The strategic issues and the preliminary action plans are described below.

Strategic Issue 1: Enhancing the Member Experience Strategy

Strategic Issue 

Continued evolution and growth of the value stream management field, as reflected in the VSMC’s changing member demographics, necessitates a constant focus on the diverse nature of the Consortium’s existing and potential members and increased attention to creating year-long member value.

Desired Outcomes

  • Knowledge: Increased organizational understanding of the changing needs and expectations of potential and existing members that informs effective identification, attraction, and retention of priority membership segments.
  • Value: Increased member awareness and perceived value of the VSMC’s programs and initiatives through more targeted and personalized member communications.
  • Engagement: Enhanced and effective use of all possible venues to increase membership engagement across member constituencies' full range and diversity.
  • Loyalty: Increased membership participation, loyalty, and lifelong affiliation with the VSMC. 
  • Satisfaction: Optimized member satisfaction with their VSMC experience and interaction.

Guiding Principles

  • The VSMC’s membership categories, policies, and programs should remain reflective of the Consortium's enduring sense of who it is as an organization while adapting as appropriate to reflect the broad membership and the dynamic field of value stream management. A balance of customized communications with mission-critical information is necessary for responding to member preferences while supporting the market's broader needs and the VSMC. The VSMC should consider the career stage(s) of current and potential members and structure the content to meet the needs of each identified group.
  • The VSMC should maintain content and service policies with different access levels, such as member-first, member-enhanced, or member-only, that encourage and reward membership.
  • Create a system that provides a diverse menu of member volunteer opportunities, as necessary, to increase the number of members who can serve the VSMC and provide another pipeline to leadership positions.

Action Plan

Changing Membership: Enhance ongoing efforts to monitor the evolving field and membership, using data to inform and support the needs of a diverse and growing membership.

  • Establish and/or maintain the infrastructure and resources needed to support robust monitoring and research on membership trends, member satisfaction, and other metrics. Use research, surveys, and focus groups to inform potential adaptations to membership categories. Conduct an all-member survey every 3-5 years.
  • Ensure the VSMC Board of Directors and staff prioritize opportunities to broaden the range and number of members served and continue to align their programs to meet the needs of varying member segments. Further, prioritize those opportunities that can have more impact by serving multiple constituencies.

Personalization: Increase opportunities to serve members’ individual communication and information needs and preferences.

  • Develop and implement a strategic member communications plan that increasingly enables members to enhance their personalization or customization of VSMC communication and access to information while also working to enhance member awareness and engagement in key programs and initiatives. Communications may be crafted and shared for member segments based on past behavior, and more targeted communications may be continually evaluated and applied based on effectiveness.

Engagement: Strengthen efforts to build lasting relationships with and engagement opportunities for members throughout their professional life cycle.

  • Maintain and increase venues for students and those new to value stream management practices, a growing membership segment, to have a voice in the VSMC’s governance, creating a vehicle for ensuring their interests and needs are included in the VSMC activities and increasing their engagement and participation in programming.
  • Implement a membership onboarding program to create awareness of programs and value to new and reinstated members.
  • Continue to find opportunities to recognize long-standing members and membership milestones, such as the Member Directory, the Ambassador Program, and the Referral Program, to build a stronger sense of affiliation and loyalty to the VSMC.
  • Develop strategies for enabling members to continue contributing to the VSMC’s mission and programs.
  • Strengthen existing efforts to support the VSMC’s network to engage members locally and increase member value through chapter funding, programs, and services.
  • Maintain existing efforts to incentivize membership with programs that promote longevity and by leveraging existing individual and institutional members as recruitment champions.
  • Continue seeking new audiences to engage in programming to expand VSMC’s footprint in meaningful ways.
  • Leverage the Member Portal as a means to create yearlong value and resources for members at all career stages.

Technology & Data: Apply technology appropriately and effectively to enable the VSMC to optimize data collection and analysis and to support member needs.

  • Assess and strengthen the VSMC’s data collection & analysis capacity to support membership recruitment/renewal and related programs and services.
  • Enhance programs and services for members using state-of-the-art technologies such as collaboration platforms, online professional development offerings, and more
  • Facilitate collaboration and career advice matching through advanced search capacity in the VSMC’s Member Directory.
  • Routinely assess systems to ensure that the latest technology is applied to improve member transactions and ensure online processes are streamlined and user-friendly.

Strategic Issue 2: International Strategy

Strategic Issue 

The continued significant growth of the VSMC’s international membership and their expressed needs creates an opportunity to develop a coherent approach to meeting the needs of its international members from all regions of the world.

Desired Outcome

  • Increased engagement among international members in VSMC’s mission, programs, and governance.
  • Increased program resources for international members by developing, encouraging, or funding professional development, training programs, and other activities.

Guiding Principles

  • The VSMC’s programs, services, and governance should reflect the changing composition of its increasingly international membership.
  • Maintain a commitment to the core value of supporting, engaging, and welcoming diverse voices and exchange between members of all nationalities.
  • Remain committed to supporting the development of value stream management principles in various countries while addressing where most international members live and work.
  • Create opportunities for lifelong learning on value stream management practices on a global level.
  • National and regional communities are key partners in helping to advance the interests of the VSMC’s international members and global business management and value stream management in general.
  • Wherever possible, seek to leverage the capacities of partner organizations to pursue common goals.

Action Plan

Professional Development and Scientific Training

  • Work jointly with international partners to support areas of collaboration and shared resources concerning professional development to benefit memberships of all involved organizations.
  • Task the VSMC’s Board of Directors with developing recommended strategies for continuing to support value stream management training in various countries. 
  • Investigate collaborative efforts with national, regional, and international societies to provide online professional development, courses, and workshops.
  • Explore options for leveraging support for professional development and scientific training activities from U.S. educational institutions with international affiliations/presences.

Global Outreach - Public Advocacy and Education

  • When requested, Develop approaches and strategies to support national and regional groups on areas of interest.
  • Coordinate with international members to support programs related to international public education activities.
  • Develop opportunities for international public engagement through outreach efforts.
  • Communication and Engagement with International Members

Develop and implement strategies that address international members' particular needs and interests.

  • Develop mechanisms for gathering input from groups of international members, as appropriate, to identify concerns and issues that the Consortium should address.
  • Ensure surveys of the membership gauge international members’ changes in satisfaction with VSMC membership.

Diplomatic Relations with International Societies

  • Initiate and nurture contacts with other regional and national members to explore online or otherwise mutual collaboration opportunities where interests are well-aligned.

Strategic Issue 3: Professional Development

Strategic Issue

Membership feedback consistently points to a strong desire among members for the VSMC to provide greater professional development opportunities. Changing demographics and evolving professional and career development needs of members offer opportunities for the VSMC to design strategic, integrated, cohesive, and enhanced programming that serves the full range of practitioners throughout their careers.

Desired Outcomes

  • Careers Skills and Training - A professional development program that reflects members' broad and evolving needs throughout their professional life cycle.
  • Community Building and Networking - Expanded and targeted training opportunities for career development and building professional skills that take into account the varying audiences, constituencies, and geographic regions being served.
  • Diversity and Inclusion - Continued commitment and robust programming to address the professional development needs of all audiences (see Diversity and Inclusion Strategy).
  • Ethics and Responsible Conduct - Activities that seek to impart ethical practices and responsible conduct within the community.

Guiding Principles

  • Professional development applies to the full range of activities that help people enhance their professional viability and success throughout their careers.
  • Recognize that VSMC members' professional development concerns and needs can vary by age group, gender, race/ethnicity, career setting, and geographic location.
  • Leverage and build upon successful approaches and models developed within the VSMC and within the larger community.
  • Avoid offering competing services with other organizations that adequately address member needs; seek collaboration and coordination wherever possible and appropriate.
  • Strive to be innovative and “think outside the box” in developing new opportunities, including those that could be fee-based and revenue-generating.
  • Utilize the framework of the Member Portal in order to expand the reach and impact of programming on a year-round basis.

Action Plan

Maintain the strategic plan for professional development strategies for the Consortium, utilizing the approved framework of priorities, outlining needed resources, and developing a plan to monitor and measure outcomes. Incorporate and address relevant aspects of the VSMC’s existing diversity strategy.
    • Review and assess all current professional development activities of the Consortium to determine priority areas for programming.
    • Develop a monitoring and evaluation plan to assess outcomes of product development activities and to enable strategic abandonment of activities as needed.
Career Development and Networking
    • Provide networking programs with the goal of increasing opportunities for professional development for VSMC members at all stages of their careers.
    • Strengthen and expand the VSMC’s mentoring resources to facilitate better relationships between mentors and mentees.
    • Manage networking events and/or other programs when possible
    • Work to support collaborative strategies for further promoting networking and career guidance within the Consortium throughout the year.

Reflect on the VSMC’s strong commitment to addressing the needs of women and underrepresented minorities through programming and other forms of engagement

Ensure that ethics and responsible conduct of research (RCR) are consistently reflected in VSMC programming.

    • Develop programming that demonstrates that ethics and RCR are essential components of professional development and require continued attention regardless of career stage.
    • Look for opportunities to incorporate ethics and RCR in VSMC programming as stand-alone efforts and in conjunction with other training activities.
Professional Development Workshops and Webinars
    • Develop and implement a series of professional development sessions. Ensure that topics and themes rotate from year to year to meet the community's evolving needs.
    • Utilize the Member Portal and other platforms developed to provide a diverse set of professional development opportunities on a year-round basis.
    • Partner with other relevant organizations in developing and/or providing professional development content.


Strategic Issue 4: Diversity and Inclusion

Strategic Issue

Diversity and inclusion are organizational priorities of the VSMC, and programming must ensure the representation of all members. The VSMC encourages and promotes participation, accessibility, active representation, and leadership from diverse populations. Recognizing that diversity advances the field of business, the VSMC encourages membership and participation regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, economic status, disability, age, and religion. Beyond promoting diversity, the Consortium promotes an environment that is supportive of all diverse groups.

Desired Outcome

  • VSMC leadership and participation in VSMC programs and initiatives reflect the diversity of the VSMC membership.
  • Increased opportunities in support of professional development activities for all diverse audiences.
  • Consistently reaffirm the VSMC’s core value of bringing members of all backgrounds together in an environment of respect and equality, free of harassment and discrimination.

Guiding Principles

  • The success of our field — and of the entire community — requires the inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives at all levels.
  • The Consortium will continue efforts to increase the inclusion of diverse audiences within the VSMC leadership, membership, and professional development.
  • Through its publications and its leadership, the VSMC will articulate diversity and inclusion as core values and highlight their importance to the profession at every level.

Action Plan

  • Develop, execute, and disseminate programs that create professional development and training opportunities for diverse communities.
  • Communicate the importance of diversity and inclusion by highlighting the positive impact of diverse perspectives on the field and engaging diverse professionals in all organization activities.
  • Continue to monitor the field and seek partnerships and collaborations with other organizations or entities to increase the diversity of program offerings for the membership.

Strategic Issue 5: Public Communications and Education

Strategic Issue

The VSMC strives to be a trusted and authoritative source for value stream management information for the public. The need for the business community to know more about value stream management, in addition to increased public attention and interest, presents an opportunity to deliver information to receptive audiences. 

Desired Outcomes

  • Greater value stream management literacy throughout the general public as a result of the VSMC’s programming.
  • Greater awareness, appreciation, and support for value stream management among VSMC target audiences.
  • Inspired curiosity among non-members who are encouraged to know more about value stream management business practices as a result of VSMC educational products and information.
  • A greater number of VSMC members engaged in public outreach, strengthening the community's capacity to communicate with the public.

Guiding Principles

  • Communication that enhances and underscores the VSMC’s reputation as a trusted source of authoritative, vetted, high-quality information.
  • Consistent focus on the VSMC’s priority audiences: the general public and crucial sub-audiences.
  • Ensure disseminated products are consistent with the VSMC’s commitment to accuracy.
  • Strategic communication is delivered in a way that is relevant to everyday experiences and through in-person and evolving digital channels.
  • Public information and outreach activities should reflect the breadth and depth of the field by presenting a broad range of topics.
  • Consistent quality enhancement informed by effective metrics that monitor and measure impact and reach.

Action Plan

  • Public Outreach Resources & Dissemination: Maintain quality and enhance the reach of current publications and resources to the public, educators, and students.
    • Strengthen and enhance the reach of the Member Portal. Fully leverage this important resource. Fully leverage and build on new site features and the enhanced core concepts experience.
    • Promote content and new materials through new and existing partnerships and venues. Strengthen dissemination of high-quality supporting materials aimed at members through multiple vehicles and partnerships.
    • Prioritize the use of dominant digital communications tools, formats, and channels from multimedia to social media.
  • Themed Campaigns: Sustain and strengthen public education activities surrounding themed campaigns such as “FlowMoMay,” “Flow-vember,” and more to increase engagement. 
    • Strengthen the dissemination of tools and resources to the education community and the general public through existing channels, explore additional ones that continue to engage the public, explore other communication vehicles, and identify new partners to aid our efforts.
    • Continue to inspire and showcase member engagement and creativity through crowd-sourced content strategies. Develop further opportunities for two-way communication and creative expression with members and the public on themed campaigns.
  • Messaging: Maintain a key messaging framework that can be adjusted for use with all VSMC audiences. Messages will incorporate core concepts and be reflected in language describing VSMC’s programs and topics.
    • Messages will be used to train VSMC leadership and key volunteers who speak to the public.
  • Training: Help increase the number of trained individuals willing to engage in the VSMC’s diverse outreach strategies. Enhance field-facing training strategies that leverage existing platforms such as the Member Portal or other venues to improve public communication capacity and engagement opportunities.

Strategic Issue 6: Financial Reserve

Strategic Issue

The VSMC seeks to ensure the Consortium has sufficient resources to serve its members during both favorable and adverse economic conditions and to sustain the capacity to reinvest selectively in priority programs to benefit members.

Desired Outcomes

  • Maintain significant reserves to ensure that the VSMC would have time to adjust to drastic or sudden external changes while allowing time to re-stabilize the Consortium’s business model. This goal seeks to ensure that the VSMC has sufficient financial flexibility to withstand unpredictable external events.

Guiding Principles

  • Continue to employ a balanced, realistic financial management strategy that plans for moderate revenue growth from diversified revenue streams and continues rigorous control of expenses, consistent with fulfilling the Consortium's mission and goals.
  • Consider the aggregate risks faced by the VSMC in all facets of its operations and seek ways to plan for, minimize, or mitigate those risks.
  • Be mindful that increasing reserves can protect against adverse financial events.
  • Ensure program enhancements or departures from the multi-year planning targets are balanced by revenue increases and/or expenditure reductions to ensure stable, planned budgetary growth.

Action Plan

  • Monitor the cash flow and optimize cash management by continued review of priorities.
  • To achieve the strategic targets, develop adaptive revenue generation and expense management strategies in response to unanticipated economic conditions or financial outcomes.

By following this strategy, the VSMC expressly intends to ensure its survival and financial health in perpetuity in service of its members.