Are your Value Streams defined correctly? How visualization can help.

In these days, organizations are operating in a complex world, where competition comes from unexpected quarters, customers are less loyal, and organizations find themselves doing things they have never done before. Therefore, it is crucial for organizations to gather feedback as soon as possible and to be able to adapt quickly if needed.

To do so, it is essential to organize yourself the way value flows through the organization, not in silos, hence Value Streams. In my experience, you can have multiple Value Stream mapping workshops and debate within an organization about the right Value Stream mapping for a long time and still you’re not completely sure.

With one of our customers we gathered actual insights on our current Value Stream mapping. This was done in two days with a simple piece of brown paper. More than 700 people were participating in multiple Pi planning sessions, at the same time, in the same building. And we asked the Value Streams to place a feature which has a dependency with another Value Stream on a separate board (we called it the Dependency board) and connect it to a sticky note in that Value Stream, using a piece of string.

This is what the dependency board looked like at the end of day 2. Would you say that this visualization is helpful in a Value Stream mapping discussion?