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Value Stream Management: Reducing Waste and Sharpening Focus

By Dick Weisinger

Value Stream Management (VSM) is a technique that organizes projects by teams with cross-functional members. It erases silo organizational styles that categorize teams based on discipline, like IT or Engineering or Production. The team is self-contained and focuses on a project or process, managing it from start to end. The whole team works together with a focus on a single goal.

Benefits of the VSM approach include:

  • All members are aligned with the same strategic objectives
  • Minimization of bureaucracy and focus on simplicity
  • Decision making and problem resolution can be sped up
  • Provides a clearer understanding of costs

Jim Azar, CTO at Orasi, told SDTimes that “when you’re doing value stream mapping, you look at two things: value-added work, and non-value-added work. And the goal is to use Lean principles around waste to remove non-value-added work. Value stream integration comes into play because copying information from one software tool to help you develop into another is non-value-added work. But there’s other non-value-added work inside those processes as well. Some of the bigger companies have been putting in habits and methods that aren’t relevant anymore. If they can remove those, they can make time to market and hit their needs as well.”

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