Value streams for organization and teams

In a previous post here I discussed the benefits from having team value stream (TVS) to encourage collaboration and facilitating resolution of external dependencies.
Usually a product development organization has multiple product development teams with each operating under different context. TVS is useful tool to make team policies explicit and visualized to its members and the rest of organization.
In this post I am talking about co-existence of TVS with the organizational value stream (OVS). The following diagram is high level visualization of the whole organization from the perspective of value delivery.

A single demand on the organization can be composite requiring participation of multiple teams. I tend to use the term minimal marketable feature (MMF), coined in this book, to describe  the units of demand to be tracked in the OVS.

The following diagram is depiction of how the demand on organization (MMF) can be traceable to the various teams.

The triangle shapes can be user stories, enhancements, defects or even individual tasks. The project manager is in charge of value delivery to the client and operates at the OVS level.

Similar to the stand-ups at the team level, there can be 2-3 meetings a week facilitated by the project manager over the OVS with representative from every team. In this meeting the project manager should ensure there is flow across teams by asking every team representative to answer the following:
– Does your team know what to pull next?
– Does your team work on something which other teams should know about?
– What does your team want to know about the work of other team(s)?
– Is there any issue with your current work?

Conclusion

1. The TVS and OVS are complementary and can not be replacement for each other. Both as a union should represent the whole picture of requests addressed by the organization.
2. Though every team manages dependencies in its own TVS, still there are areas which require the OVS, for example:
– product interfaces
– components requiring developments by more than product team
– hand off with other groups making promises to clients (account management)
3. The cards in the OVS are representing MMF, while those in the TVS are lower details and team specific.
4. OVS is an operations management tool for project managers who are more concerned about organization wide delivery instead of the team engineering work.
5. OVS can be used to track the progress for achieving metrics related to voice of customer.
6. Each team is represented as a single stage in the OVS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s