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 software development value stream, organizations risk slower progress in improving their software delivery performance.
Where applicable, GitLab account teams should assist prospects and customers by providing an 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 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, and if not, please give any justification for why an exception should be made:
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 value stream assessment. Educate the prospect or customer on the benefits, process details, and the required commitment. Leverage the Value Stream Assessment Positioning Deck - (Recording) 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 Value Stream Assessment team of the intent, and provide as much information as possible regarding the prospect/customer. To do so:
This gives the team at GitLab the ability to both track the progress of the Value Stream Assessment 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 positioning a Value Stream Assessment to the customer. The goal of the meeting is to be able to discuss:
The initial customer positioning allows us to position value stream assesment to our key stakeholders & get their buy in. The customer positioning should include:
It is important to identify a project or few projects as next step for the planning meeting with customer.
Here are some resources that can be used as starting point for the positioning session:
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).
|Scribe(s)||A team member who's primary purpose is to document the session, capture key metrics as they emerge which will later be used to create a executive briefing template.||AE, Shadow SA, CSM|
|Facilitator||A team member fully versed in the Value Stream Mapping process who is responsible for leading the session; ensuring that discussion is staying on-topic, at the right level and at the required pace.||SA|
|Account Leader||Ensure that the long term strategic vision for the prospect is considered when discussing desired future state and they can also provide additional context to the current state. Schedule meetings with the Value Stream Assessment participants. Send summary followup emails after each session (template)Update VSA Tracking fields in Salesforce.||AE|
The process which we will go through, at a high level, is as follows (per functional persona/team, in a single workshop or across a few meetings):
LucidChart SSOis available. If yes, LucidChart has been assigned to you and you can launch it from Okta and collaborate on any LucidChart Documents your team has shared with you. If no, then
LucidChart SSOhas not been assigned to you yet.
LucidChart SSOassigned to you in Okta, please navigate to the "access-requests" Project and submit an Issue requesting "Lucid Chart". Assign the Issue to your Manager and add the
IT::to dolabel. An example Access Request Issue may be found here.
it-helpwith a note on why it is urgent.
The final meeting as part of the Value Stream Assessment process is the findings and next steps presentation (though it's called an executive presentation, it's expected to be a two-way discussion). The high level topics of this meeting are:
Example template of the executive briefing can be found here. Please modify accordingly to suit your customer's need.
It is recommended to review the executive briefing with your champion, key stakeholder before the final meeting to collect additional feedback. The goal is to then deliver it jointly to the broader team to gain agreement.
What's in it for me - the customer?
What are typical outcomes for a customer?
For a financial service bank, doing a Value Stream Assessment provided them with a comparison of their process with their peers, and the clear path forward to improve their processes, and ultimately allowed them to achieve a desired ROI of releasing software faster while increasing quality.
Which teams are typically involved?
What's the best place to start?
That's a lot of time investment from our teams Or Our teams are busy with other projects.
Can you interview 1 team at a time?
Three minute video overview covering the fields and process described below.
The Account Leader (AE) is responsible for maintaining the Salesforce opportunity level VSA Tracking Fields outline below:
The single source of truth for training and VSA artifacts can be found on the associated HighSpot page.
This course is designed to provide an overview of how GitLab account teams should assist prospects and customers by providing a lightweight 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: