The Value Stream Manager (LESS2012)

I gave two talks at this year’s Lean Enterprise Software and Systems (LESS 2012) conference in Tallinn, Estonia. The topic of the first was identifying and managing waste. The topic of this second talk was applying the Value Stream Manager concept to software product development organisations.

For context, this talk first describes some common perspectives of organisations: the hierarchy perspective, the social network perspective, and the information flow perspective. We then talked about Value Stream mapping and Value Network mapping. I prefer the metaphor of a network to that of a stream for several reasons. One reason is the linearity implicit in the metaphor of a stream. Value does not flow smoothly in one direction all the time. Another reason is that networks are a better metaphor for modern knowledge-work organisations.

We went on to talk about the responsibilities of a Value Stream Manager, as described in the Lean literature, and how this translates for software product organisations. I went on to describe how Stakeholder Mapping is a useful technique that helps in identifying and creating Value Streams or Networks.

The summary from the talk is this:

  • Empower people to be Value Stream Managers
  • Develop their skills as Problem Solvers
  • Help them navigate the organization
  • Develop them as enablers of change
  • Use Stakeholder Maps to show who is affected
  • Use Value Stream Maps to show the flow
  • Use CFDs, Cycle Time and Lead Time to show delays (waste) and opportunities for improvement
  • Use A3 Problem Solving and Proposal Writing to enable Lean thinking and to optimize your Value Streams

The slides are available here:

Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach

Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach - Book by R.E. Freeman

Classic text on Stakeholder Management from R.E. Freeman. First published in 1984, it has been hard to find in recent years, but there is a recent reprint issued by Cambridge in 2010. This book provides a history of the term ‘stakeholder’ and the theory behind Stakeholder Management. The book explores the roots of Stakeholder Management in Corporate Planning, Systems Theory, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Organization Theory.

Author: R.E. Freeman

Publisher: Cambridge University Press (March 11, 2010)

ISBN-10: 0521151740

ISBN-13: 978-0521151740

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