Value Stream Map

A value stream is the series of activities used by an organization to deliver a product or service to an external or internal customer. A value stream map breaks down the process time for each activity, the lead time between activities, and the success rate. The map is depicted as a flow chart annotated with key metrics. Key metrics are lead time, process time, activity ratio, rolled % complete & accurate. Often a current state map is used to derive a future state map with process improvements. (TBD)

"Lean thinking defines value as providing benefit to the customer; anything else is waste." – Eric Ries








Implement testable task within story 

Review acceptance tests

Run unit tests 

Create pull request

Run static analysis 

Run acceptance tests

Peer review code 

Respond to review comments 


  • What activities are being performed?
  • Who delivers those activities? How much of their time is dedicated to those activities?
  • What is the yield, i.e. ‘right first time’? What % of rework is generated? What causes rework?
  • What tools are required to complete the step? And what other inputs are required?
  • How many units (e.g. work packages) are ‘work in progress’ within this step?
  • How many units are waiting in the ‘inbox’? How will they be prioritized or scheduled? How long will they, typically, wait for?
  • How long does the step take? How much of that time is effort, or touch time, versus duration, or in-process lead-time?

Resource Checklist 

  • List the products and services that you would like to deliver continuously to external or internal customers. 
  • Choose one deliverable, and draw a simple flow chart showing the process from inception to customer.
    • Start with the highest level, such as Plan, Build, Integrate, Deploy, Operate, Monitor
    • Drill down on a high-level activity, such as Integrate 
      • Merge, Compile, Unit Test, Package, Regression Test
  • For each activity, specify the lead time, process time, activity ratio, rolled % complete & accurate
    • Analyze the flow and identify the bottlenecks – or constraints
    • Select the biggest constraint and exploit, elevate, and subordinate the constraint. 
    • Define an actionable KPI for the activity, to keep it in check
    • Repeat the process

Related Topics

See Also 

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