Attacking the Fuzzy-Front-End of Value Streams (Las Vegas 2020)

This experience report describes how in the quest for true speed to deliver, we went beyond just the typical agile ceremony adoption and DevOps tool adoption by looking at the true constraints of the value stream. You will learn how to overcome challenges across an entire end-to-end value stream to speed up time to business value. This talk will describe how a formal value stream mapping workshop process followed by cross-functional kaizen processes identified and aligned the team on addressing the largest bottlenecks. These bottlenecks stemmed from processes around funding, approvals, reviews, staffing, and PMO oversight that were originally created for really good reasons. Through sponsor alignment, value stream mapping, applying the principles and practices of Lean, DevOps, Agile, and shifting from project to product the team is driving change across the organization. The business problem we set out to solve was to enable quick turnaround from the time when our business partners wanted a new capability to the time when it was delivered in production. The top challenges stemmed from long project approval processes, traditional annual funding processes, lengthy staffing and project team formation time, and long review cycles. Through executive DevOps dojos, VSM workshops, and iterative work to attack the top bottlenecks between numerous departments, we established a collective effort to shift from 6+ months to a target future state of just a few weeks from business request to production ready capabilities. Challenges in the continuous journey, from sponsorship, to educating the teams, to overcoming organization resistance, provide a great deal of insight for other organizations wanting to make this same journey. Based on our mistakes and learnings, I will provide advice and recommendations for other companies that want to not just do DevOps and Agile but truly become fast and agile by using DevOps/Lean/Agile and product-oriented principles.

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John Ediger

DevOps Transformation Principal and Distinguished Technologist, DXC Technology

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