Accelerate Software Delivery with a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) Discovery: Help Design Optimal CI/CD Pipelines

Feb 1, 2020 by Armory

Armory helps organizations automate a golden path to production by extending OSS Spinnaker with proprietary features and enterprise support. We are excited to announce a new opportunity: Value Stream Mapping (VSM) discovery sessions with customers and prospects. To help design optimal CI/CD pipelines, we are announcing Armory-led VSM workshops. This ensures that we are codifying and orchestrating the most efficient, predictable, and secure paths to high-performance software delivery, maximizing customer investments in Spinnaker.

The value stream mapping technique enables organizations to:

  • Visualize and understand software development, testing and delivery  workflows
  • Surface inefficiencies
  • Identify ways to reach an accelerated and high-performing future state

The Armory-led VSM discovery exercise

1) Surfaces existing efficiencies that should be codified and automated by leveraging Spinnaker, and

2) Identifies inefficient workflow steps or manual gates that slow delivery cadence. Adding VSM to your CI/CD toolkit maximizes the promise of CI/CD pipelines and your business case for – and success with – Spinnaker.

What Is VSM?

VSM is a technique that originated in the manufacturing industry to analyze, design, and manage the flow of materials and information required to bring a product to a customer. The original purpose was to map the steps of material handling and identify – and eliminate – waste in order to maximize ROI. Items in a workflow are visualized and mapped, to surface value-adding steps and non-value adding steps that inflate costs in both resources and time (inefficiencies, waste, delays, hand-offs, bottlenecks).

VSM is especially useful in workflows where there are repetitive steps, especially those involving multiple hand-offs or multiple stakeholders across organizational silos. The resulting map enables organizations to plan their way to a more efficient and effective ‘future state.’ It helps optimize pipeline workflows, and streamline development, testing and delivery processes.

Why Should I Schedule a VSM Discovery With Armory?

Software delivery is the ideal workflow for VSM: it has repetitive steps with multiple hand-offs and sign-offs. Over the years, organizations implemented manual gates to prevent unintended outages. The silos between development, operations, infrastructure, security, and other teams and tools within the SDLC are rife with hand-offs, delays, and gates, sometimes leading to multiple pipelines.

What is the VSM Discovery  Agenda?

We will map out your software delivery workflow in the following ways:

1.     Surface the “Value-Adding” Steps:

  • Steps required by customers to get an idea to production
  • Steps where information is being transformed into a product (e.g. code is being written, packaged into versioned artifacts)

2.     Surface the “Non-Value Adding” Steps

  • Wait times, release windows, release trains, manual tests, manual approvals, etc.

3.     Surface the “Hand-Offs”

  • Each hand-off adds time and friction to the delivery cycle. Which ones are critical?  Which can be removed, automated, or accelerated with guardrails?

4.     Surface the “Value Ratio”

  • The value ratio is the ratio of  value-adding steps to non-value adding steps. This calculation surfaces the balance of efficiencies and inefficiencies in your SDLC. It helps to identify areas that  can be improved with Spinnaker’s pipelines, guardrails, and automation.

5.     Surface and Agree Upon the “Future State”

  • The purpose of VSM isn’t to criticize the organization or to point fingers of blame for bottlenecks. It is to improve, accelerate and automate. It helps the organization get alignment on what can be improved to reach a high-performing future state. This helps reach agreement on organizational KPIs, and to set achievable  goals for continuous improvement.

What is the Output of the Workshop?

We’ll create a map of your software delivery workflow that we will use to strategize how to implement – or optimize – Spinnaker. Understanding the current state of your  SDLC, and the inefficiencies that impede your delivery cadence enables us to unleash a range of metrics – deployment frequency, lead time for changes, MTTR, change failure rate – so you can accelerate towards being a high-performing organization.

Who Should Participate?

Ideally, you’ll include people who want to be catalysts for change, or in other words, change agents. These are people who can challenge the status quo and cross organizational  silos to help you get to the ideal future state. The most important thing is to get started with as many or as few people as you can get to join you in this transformational journey.

How Long is the Workshop?

Armory will spend a day with you to conduct a VSM discovery.

How Do I Sign Up?

Interested in accelerating delivery velocity and your investment in Spinnaker with a VSM discovery? Let us know ([email protected]) and we can get a discovery session scheduled with you!

About the VSM Facilitators

Juni Mukherjee, Owner, Continuity

Juni is a recognized trailblazer in the Continuous Everything and VSM space. She has led software engineering projects to improve Time-2-Market, in diverse domains like identity, security, media, advertising, retail, telecom, banking and insurance. She leverages her experience in graduate research and software architecture to design modular and scalable platforms that improve the velocity and productivity of engineering teams. Juni designs metrics and dashboards to objectively measure behavior that drives organizational vision and helps teams focus on solving software delivery problems, starting with the highest ROI. She regularly facilitates VSM discovery sessions.

Alex Bello, VP Product, Armory

Alex brings more than ten years of experience building and implementing automation frameworks, teams, and platforms to increase engineering velocity while maintaining quality and safety. He is guiding the development of proprietary Armory features to enhance OSS Spinnaker and the company’s strategic product roadmap.

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