Become a Member Member Login

Value Stream Management Consortium Publishes Inaugural State of Value Stream Management Report

July 15, 2021

Consortium’s First Research Initiative Finds that Value Stream Management Adoption is on the Rise and Correlates with Higher Performing Organizations


DENVER, July 15, 2021 - The Value Stream Management Consortium has announced the full findings of its inaugural research initiative in the State of Value Stream Management Report. The research is designed to establish a baseline for future reports on adoption trends in the digital value stream management market and investigate how teams are leveraging practices to measure and improve value flow and realization.

Key findings in the inaugural report include:

  • Value stream management practices are more common in higher-performing organizations
  • 80% of teams that do NOT practice value stream mapping, do not inspect flow - compared to 10% of those that do
  • Product- or value stream-oriented teams are nearly twice as likely to use flow metrics than project-oriented teams

“When we launched the consortium on March 3, 2021, we began what will be a multi-year research journey,” said Helen Beal, chair of the Value Stream Management Consortium. “Value stream management (VSM) as both a concept and a practice has been around since the 1950s with origins in the Toyota Production System and earlier manufacturing. Its roots include the subsequent application of lean principles and practices to enterprise management. Our inception and research have grown from the application of VSM within the technology industry and the resulting transformation of digital enterprise within the fifth industrial revolution.”

About the State of Value Stream Management Report

The report illustrates how the industry is organizing around value streams and establishes how value stream-centric roles are emerging. It explores how teams are leveraging value stream mapping to advance their agile and DevOps implementations and the differences between mapping and management. It presents the consortium’s findings on how metrics are being used to analyze and measure value stream flow and how teams are estimating value from customer, business, and technical perspectives. 

“Inefficient software delivery processes, inconsistent metrics to measure organizational productivity or to identify areas for improvement for software development and delivery cause significant production delays, missed deadlines, and most importantly creates unpleasant and unnecessary friction between enterprise IT teams and the business,” said Eveline Oehrlich, independent industry analyst. “From my work with the DevOps Institute, we found that 14% of organizations have adopted Value Stream Management (VSM) in 2020… so lots of room for adoption. Leveraging VSM can give teams a complete view of their organizations’ development pipelines so that they do better. Unfortunately, the challenges on how to leverage VSM are inhibiting its adoption and momentum. Tools and platforms certainly can help but the vision and hesitation towards VSM remain. This research has established a baseline for where the state of VSM is today and will encourage and guide tool vendors, coaches, and customers towards adoption. This is only the first step with more exciting research and work to follow.”

“What struck me about the results in this extensive research is the difficulty that still prevails in driving insights,” said Richard Hawes, ServiceNow’s representative on the VSMC research team. “It’s still a manual process for many, or it consists of multiple silos of reporting where information is not easily shared across teams. This also impacts traceability as indicated by the intention in our future research to understand how product and service changes actually deliver value with corresponding changes in system or customer behavior. With improvements in automation, connectivity, and reporting (with AI/ML) it should be getting easier to track the impact of a change from ideation through to production.”

“The information gathered so far confirms my experience that the problems faced with improving delivery are very common and can be corrected by starting small,” said Bryan Finster, VSMC board advisor. “As an industry, we need to simplify and demystify the language and good practices to lower the bar of entry to continuous improvement. Improvement isn’t hard. Easy access to verifiable good information backed by data is the industry constraint to delivery.”  

Download the report

What’s Next for the Value Stream Management Consortium

In August we will be launching the first step on our learning journey; the Value Stream Management Foundation course. This will be available online free to all members.

Join Us

About the Value Stream Management Consortium

The Value Stream Management Consortium is the world’s leading organization creating, curating, and collaborating on research about the frameworks and principles of Value Stream Management. The VSMC delivers guidance around leveraging the best of Lean, Agile, DevOps, Systems Thinking, and beyond combined with world-class technical solutions, integrations, and automation to accelerate the performance of organizations across the globe.

Helen Beal

Helen Beal

Helen Beal is a DevOps and Ways of Working coach, chief ambassador at DevOps Institute, and ambassador for the Continuous Delivery Foundation. She is the chair of the Value Stream Management Consortium and co-chair of the OASIS Value Stream Management Interoperability Technical Committee. She also provides strategic advisory services to DevOps industry leaders. Helen hosts the Day-to-Day DevOps webinar series for BrightTalk, speaks regularly on DevOps and value stream-related topics, is a DevOps editor for InfoQ, and also writes for a number of other online platforms. She is a co-author of the book about DevOps and governance, Investments Unlimited, published by IT Revolution. She regularly appears in TechBeacon’s DevOps Top100 lists and was recognized as the Top DevOps Evangelist 2020 in the DevOps Dozen awards and was a finalist for Computing DevOps Excellence Awards’ DevOps Professional of the Year 2021. She serves on advisory and judging boards for many initiatives including Developer Week, DevOps World, JAX DevOps, and InterOp.