In 2020, Forrester’s Now Tech: Value Stream Management Tools, Q2 2020, report featured 12 vendors with a stand-alone or integrated VSM solution. Two years later, this market has nearly doubled: The Value Stream Management Landscape, Q3 2022, covers 22 fully featured VSM vendors. More vendors means more competition and more innovation, which is good for users, but it also means more noise. We’ve spent the first half of 2022 immersed in VSM, and here are the five trends that excite us the most:

  • Faster insights. Several vendors have offerings that can ingest data from agile planning databases to calculate VSM analytics quickly. Some can even combine streams from multiple sources, such as Jira and Salesforce, to provide financial impact data. This type of solution forgoes traditional integration approaches and has the potential to provide insights in hours.
  • Better DevOps dashboards. The days of spreadsheet-oriented bar graphs and flow charts are numbered. New VSM players offer dashboards that visualize how traditional DevOps metrics impact the various stages of software delivery. This enables users to see the wider-impact slowdowns and constraints on a team’s ability to deliver value. The good news for users is that these new entrants have forced incumbent platforms to make their products more approachable to each modern application development (MAD) stakeholder.
  • Deeper DevOps integration. In Forrester’s integrated software delivery platform (ISDP) research, 18 of 26 ISDP vendors we looked at indicate that they have some form of VSM capability in their offering. These integrations have increased VSM adoption by lowering the barrier to entry.
  • Homegrown VSM. A major health insurance provider is building a set of VSM tools with a combination of cloud and business intelligence tools, using a combination of process metrics (e.g., frequency and cycle time) and business metrics (e.g., end user adoption) to drive the transformation from project to product.
  • MAD services players accelerate VSM adoption. As part of broader MAD services offerings, systems integrators and consulting organizations have deep experience in demonstrating impact and efficiency to their clients, and many have already created accelerators and dashboards to further these efforts. Many of these global systems integrators are partners with VSM vendors and have integrated those solutions into existing toolchains, giving their clients a much-needed expert.

Next Steps

While we believe that VSM has yet to reach its full potential, the benefits of adopting VSM are increasingly hard to ignore. To learn more, see Forrester’s recent report, The State Of Value Stream Management.

(written with Zachary Stone)