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Supercharging Automation with Value Stream Mapping

by - ThoughtFocus | October 6, 2023 |

Value Stream Mapping (VSM) is a crucial tool in automation, which allows businesses to understand and optimize their operations a lot better. A value stream is a lean mapping process that involves customers paying for specific steps (using vsm models) in a product or service’s production flow. While value stream management, a crucial process which involves breaking down of operational silos, implementing cross-functional team collaboration, embedding value stream governance in software delivery, and automating workflows.  



Benefits of Value Stream Mapping to Organizations  

Value stream Mapping allows organizations to create new values and improve Agile and DevOps practices. By adopting value stream management, organizations can gather data, track performance, and improve their software delivery pipelines. This allows them to monitor lead time, cycle time, and throughput, create realistic goals, and align resources effectively. It also helps organizations prepare for social and economic disruptions, such as remote work. 



Businesses can prioritize automation initiatives based on their potential impact on value creation, allowing them to allocate resources effectively and focus on projects with the highest return on investment. Success metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) can be defined for automation initiatives, enabling continuous monitoring and optimization. 



Value stream mapping also helps organizations identify process inefficiencies and bottlenecks, enabling them to design automation solutions that optimize end-to-end workflows. This information aids in informed decision-making, enabling strategic decisions on resource allocation, technology selection, and implementation approaches. 



Continuous improvement and iteration are key benefits of value stream mapping. Regular assessments of value streams enable organizations to identify new automation opportunities, evaluate the effectiveness of implemented solutions, and make necessary adjustments. This iterative approach ensures that automation initiatives align with evolving business needs and deliver sustained value over time. 



Value stream mapping in automation provides organizations with a holistic understanding of the value generated by automation initiatives. It helps identify automation opportunities, prioritize efforts, streamline processes, define success metrics, enhance decision-making, and drive continuous improvement. By leveraging value mapping, organizations can maximize the benefits of automation, achieve operational excellence, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving business landscape. It typically involves mapping out different processes and workflows within an organization to identify value streams, which can be applied to streamline operations, reduce bottlenecks, and optimize resource utilization. This helps organizations identify areas where automation can generate the most value – such as repetitive, time-consuming, error-prone, or human-intensive tasks. 



As per a recent McKinsey report 1 50% of work can be automated in today’s age. It further says 2 31% of businesses have fully automated at least one function. 



Engineers often draw technical conclusions based on experience, but Value Stream Mapping is crucial for understanding the entire process end-to-end. This can lead to unexpected opportunities for time and cost savings in the workstream. Our recent example involved mapping the application deployment process from development to production to reduce change lead time for feature updates. One of our development teams aimed to enhance the CI/CD process, but the Value Stream Map revealed significant waste of time in information gathering, request generation, and approval steps post-development and QA testing. 



While the initial assumption was to save dozens of hours per release by improving the CI/CD pipelines, the team soon realized that improving processes centered around paperwork requests and approvals could save hundreds of hours per release. 



The technical implementation was a single integration between CI/CD pipelines and ServiceNow, leading to a pivot to different priorities. Visualizing the entire process with a Value Stream Map provided an end-to-end holistic view that identified opportunities for improvement. This process analysis helps understand the entire end-to-end workflow and identify potential time and cost savings.  



ThoughtFocus’ solutions and its consulting expertise help organizations to make a head start and streamline things using value stream mapping. Further we help in ramping up their automation initiatives and save a significant amount of time and resources, improving their overall business and operational efficiency. Write to us at for more information and one of our value stream and automation engineers will contact you back. 




External sources: 

1) MGI-A-future-that-works-Executive-summary.ashx ( 

2) The imperatives for automation success (