When working with GitLab, many prospects and customers have software delivery performance improvement as a critical business outcome. Unfortunately, due to the inherent and increasing complexity in the software delivery process, an organization's software delivery value stream often consists of dozens, if not hundreds, of manual configuration touch points and handoffs. Usually, there is a lack of understanding and visibility into the current process, making it challenging to identify and measure software delivery improvements. Without understanding the current value stream, organizations risk slower progress in improving their software delivery performance.
Where applicable, GitLab account teams should assist prospects and customers by providing a assessment of their value stream. The content on this page outlines the approaches, tools, and artifacts used to conduct a value stream assessment for our prospects and customers. By creating a better understanding of the current process by identifying bottlenecks and establishing a baseline measurement of software delivery performance, GitLab can ensure our prospects and customers can realize improvements more quickly and continuously.
Value stream assessments(VSA) require a non-trivial investment of time by both the GitLab field teams and our prospects and customers. To ensure the appropriate return on this investment of time, the opportunities should meet the following criteria:
Key indicators that the opportunity is well-suited include:
The scope of a value stream assessment should always be clearly defined. A clearly defined scope ensures that the correct people are being included in the team and reduces the risk of time lost agreeing what should be focussed on. For this reason, the scope of a GitLab facilitated assessment must always be within the DevSecOps space.
A successful Value Stream Assessment requires a commitment to the workshop by the software delivery stakeholders and the personnel experienced with the various processes that constitute their value stream. Without understanding the assessment process and its value to their organization, key participants will lack the commitment to ensure a successful VSA. Educate the prospect or customer on the benefits, process details, and the required commitment. Leverage the Value Stream Assessment Pitch Deck by customizing it for the prospect or customer to assist with this step.
After the prospect or customer understands the process and its benefits, confirm commitment from the stakeholders and workshop participants by scheduling the facilitated workshop and/or interviews. Estimate the duration of the assessment and set the expectation that the documented value stream, recommendations, and readout will be delivered.
Focusing on the goals and benefits listed above, the time required to complete a minimally viable value stream assessment will vary from organization to organization. The workshop should NOT require exhaustive discussion and research. Depending on the availability and commitment of the various value stream participants and stakeholders, the practice could take as little as 4 hours to complete or up to 15 hours spread out through multiple sessions over multiple days.
The very first step when considering a Value Stream Assessment is to notify the VSA team of the intent, and provide as much information as possible regarding the prospect/customer. To do so:
This gives the VSA team at GitLab the ability to both track the progress of the VSA and allocate team members to the effort, a key requirement for the next preparation steps.
It is extremely important to have an internal preparation meeting(can be async) prior to pitching VSA to the customer. The goal of the meeting is to be able to discuss:
The initial customer pitch allows us to pitch value stream assesment to our key stakeholders & get their buy in. The customer pitch should include:
It is important to identify a project or few projects as next step for the planning meeting with customer.
Planning a Value Stream Workshop can generally be done within an hour, given the right expectation, focus and people involved.
It is recommended that when planning a Value Stream Workshop, a Value Stream Transformation Charter should be used.
Without the answers to these questions we risk spending significant time and energy trying to understand each possible variation and often will end up with metrics that are hard to define (the "it depends" trap). As such, it's critically important that these definitions are confirmed and agreed upon prior to the workshop (generally as part of the planning meeting).
In order to help facilitate a Value Stream Assessment, a number of GitLab team members will be required to take part. The roles of these members generally fall into the following:
The process which we will go through, at a high level, is as follows:
The final meeting as part of the Value Stream Assessment process is the findings and next steps presentation (though it's called a presentation, it's expected to be a two-way discussion). The high level topics of this meeting are:
This course provides an overview of how GitLab account teams should assist prospects and customers by providing an assessment of their value stream. The course outlines the approaches, tools, and artifacts used to conduct a value stream assessment for our prospects and customers.
In the spirit of collaboration and iteration, please help to continuously improve this framework. Ways to contribute include: