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Key Criteria for Evaluating Value Stream Management Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Value Stream Management Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Metrics
  6. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  7. Analysts’ Take
  8. About Jon Collins

1. Summary

This report covers the evolving technology category of value stream management (VSM). VSM emerged in response to a specific need: fragmentation, inefficiency, and bottlenecks in the DevOps pipeline. It was thus a genuine solution to a clear challenge that aimed to address issues around:

  • Tooling: Organizations were using multiple poorly integrated development and deployment tools.
  • Process: Teams were working in uncontrolled and ill-defined ways, even as they adopted facets of agile methodologies, such as scrums and sprints.

While these issues can be addressed in multiple ways, a first response is to offer visibility into development activities, pulling together information from existing continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) and other pipeline tools. This enables managers and engineers alike to make better decisions and set priorities, improving efficiency. VSM does not stop there, however; the more significant question is “Are the solutions I create delivering real value to the business, its customers, and its users?”

GigaOm’s 2020 VSM Key Criteria report examined how VSM addressed and improved efficiency (saving money) and effectiveness (adding benefit and improving outcomes). GigaOm’s 2021 DevOps VSM Key Criteria report detailed how engineering teams could benefit from the increased visibility and focus VSM tools and practices could provide. In this report, we focus specifically on the emerging tooling and approaches used to help decision makers deliver on their business value goals.

While VSM providers offer specific techniques for data collection, process management, analytics, or visualization, we are more concerned about how well organizations are supported to build and deliver more effective solutions while ensuring that engineering teams and other stakeholders can work productively and without undue stress.

We recognize that VSM practices and tools are not an end in themselves but act as enablers to help organizations scale their efforts and deliver technology-based innovation more quickly. The ultimate goal of the digitally transformed organization should be that technology supports the business in its activities, enabling rather than constraining innovation. Successful VSM solutions are business-enablement tools, not technical dashboards, and should be judged accordingly.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.