Value Stream Maps

Updated 3 months ago by Copado Solutions

Introduction

Copado’s Value Stream Maps enable you to visualize the flow of value to end-users. It is one of the core features included in Copado’s Monitoring products. Value streams are the sequence of processes needed to deliver value. In software, a value stream is the process of turning an idea into a product or service with the help of technology.  With Value Stream Maps you can get clear and actionable insights into your development process and identify any bottlenecks that may be preventing your team from delivering operational features in a reasonable time frame. When making a value stream map, it’s critical to gather metrics on time and quality at each stage. These numbers can illuminate parts of the process that waste time or energy. Getting these metrics can take some digging unless you have a tool like Copado Value Stream Maps designed for that process.

Copado Value Stream Maps

When talking about Value Stream Maps, there are some concepts within Copado that you should familiarize yourself with: Stages, Process Blocks, and Metrics.

A stage represents a step within the overall business process you are measuring. For instance, if you are tracking your software development lifecycle, a stage could be ‘plan’ or ‘’develop’. You can define as many stages as you need in a Value Stream Map. Each stage includes Process Blocks, which are specific processes within your Stage. Considering the example above, a Process Block within the ‘plan’ stage could be ‘Design Review’ or ‘Sprint Planning’. As with stages, you can add as many process blocks as needed. Multiple process blocks in a stage are meant to indicate “parallel” processes. Finally, each process block contains metrics, which are quantifiable measures that provide key insights such as Lead Time or % Complete and Accurate.

Move on to the next sections to learn how to configure a Value Stream Map and navigate the Value Stream Maps page.

Setting Up a Value Stream Map

Before building a Value Stream Map, there are three things you need to configure beforehand, if you haven’t done so yet, please check out the article Installation Instructions for Value Stream Mapping.

To create a Value Stream Map, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Value Stream Maps tab and click on New.
  2. Give your value stream map a name.
  3. Select the object you want to associate your Value Stream Map with.
  4. Select the primary field for your Value Stream Map. Most objects within Salesforce have a field that measures the lifecycle of that object. For example, opportunities natively provide the Stage field.
  5. Update the Operator selection based on the object that you selected in step 3:
    1. If the primary object selected for the value stream map is a parent or main object, select Owner ID.
    2. If the primary object selected for the value stream map is a child object, select Created By ID.
  6. Select any record types that apply. You can select all record types or only one depending on your use case. You may want to focus on a particular record type, for instance, if you want to track the progress or time your team spends on a particular type of User Stories, Bugs. In this case, you can select the Bug specific record type from the available options and move it to the Selected column. 
  7. Select a start date for your value stream map. If you have field history tracking enabled, the value stream map's event collector will utilize the field history tracking data to generate metrics based on the start date selected. If you do not select a start date, this field will be populated with the date that the value stream map is activated.
  8. Once you are done, click on Save:
Creating a Value Stream Map

  1. Navigate to the Stages tab and create as many stages as you need and drag and drop the boxes to rearrange them.

Now that you have the object, operator, and primary field on which you want to base your Value Stream Map, the date, and the stages you want to track, you can go ahead and start adding process blocks to your stages. 

Create Process Blocks 

To create a new process block, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Mapping tab on the Value Stream Mapping page. 
  2. Click on the + icon which is found inside of the Stages. 
  3. Give the process block a name.
  4. If you selected all record types in the initial configuration of the value stream map, you now have the option to drill down and select a specific record type for your process block. If you don’t select anything, all record types will be included.
  5. Provide a description.
  6. Click on Save:

Configure process blocks

Mapping the Value Stream 

Visualizing the Process 

One challenge in improving the process of software development, or any knowledge work, is that you can’t see it. It’s easier to understand Lean practices in manufacturing, since you can actually see raw materials coming in, an assembly line transforming them, and finished products going out. So before we can improve our development process, we need to make it visible. The most important thing to visualize is the value stream itself.

Begin to map out each stage from the time a request is received: Planning, Architect Review, Development, Testing, Change Approval, and Release. Mapping out these stages is like visualizing an assembly line in manufacturing.

Once you have configured all the process blocks you need, select the values on the right and map them to the blocks. These are the values that will be analyzed and used to calculate the different metrics displayed in each process block. You can map more than one value to a process block. You will find values from the Primary Field that you selected in the creation of the value stream map on the right-hand side panel. The drag and drop interface enables you to drag values from the right to the stages and process blocks on the left:

Mapping in Value Stream Maps

By default, all stages will include a Waiting Time section at the top where you can define what is considered  idle time. Below the idle time, you will find active criteria that defines when work is actively being worked.

By defining your waiting and active criteria, you are indicating where work currently sits idle vs. when work is actively being worked. 

Based on your mapping, the Value Stream Map will calculate metrics by pulling data from the Field History Tracking data of the Primary Field that you have configured. 

To review the value stream map you have just created, navigate back to the Value Stream Map tab. You will be taken to the Value Stream Map’s main page:

 Value Stream Map’s main page

Metrics and Icons

On this page, you can find standard metrics at the top. Time related metrics are adjusted to months, days, and hours to give you more accurate results:

  • Rolled % C/A: This metric displays the percentage of work items that pass through all the stages without having to be sent back to prior stages due to quality issues. It is a product of the weighted % C/A.
  • Total Cycle Time: Cycle time represents the time that was spent on completing a work item for a process block (excluding the idle time). Total cycle time is the sum of the average cycle time for a work item to complete a process, that is, the sum of cycle time across all stages.
  • Total Idle Time: Average time that a particular work item will spend waiting before it is completed.
  • Total Lead Time: The sum of lead time across all stages.
  • Total Work Items in Progress: The number of work items that are currently in progress.
  • Completed Items: Total number of items that are in a completed state. 
  • Backlog Items: Total number of items that are in a backlog state. 
  • Canceled Items: Total number of items that are in a canceled state. 
If a value is mapped into the Completed, Backlog, or Canceled panels, the work items are excluded from the standard metrics. 

Below the summarized metrics, you will find all of the process blocks you have created which include several metrics. Let’s take a look at the icons and metrics included in a process block:

process blocks metrics

  • This icon shows:
    • Historical idle time, which represents the average time a work item spends in the waiting section at a specific stage.
    • The current number of work items that are in a waiting status at a particular stage.
    • The current number of work items that are in an active criteria in a process block.
    • The current number of unique owners across all work items in the process block.
  • Lead time: The average time it takes for a work item to be completed in a process block + waiting time (historical).
  • Cycle time: Cycle time represents the time that was spent on completing a work item for a process block (excluding the idle time).
  • % C/A: Percentage of work that was completed without a re-entry to the process block.
Copado uses historic work items to estimate current work in progress. Some metrics such as the lead time and the % C/A within process blocks are historical averages.
Actions

Configure Thresholds

On this page you can perform the following actions:

  • Enable or disable thresholds by clicking Configure VSM Thresholds from the drop-down menu at the top right corner. 
Configure VSM Thresholds button

  • When enabled,  the configuration page will appear where you can configure the threshold limits for each stage. 
Configure the threshold limits page

The Threshold feature helps you identify where a process block may have reached a critical point or acknowledge a bottleneck. For more information about it, check out the Value Stream Map Thresholds article. 

Create Custom Metrics 

Custom metrics enable you to track metrics that are not included in the standard value stream map. Take any custom or standard field from the custom object that is associated with your value stream map to create a custom metric. Custom metrics support a SUM or AVG of any numeric field on the object that your value stream map is configured for.  

On this page you can perform the following actions:

  • Create custom metrics by clicking Add New Metric from the drop-down menu at the top right corner.

Add new metric button

  • Select the field you want to measure and the calculation type. The available calculation options are SUM and AVG:

Configure Metrics 

On this page you can perform the following actions:

  • Show/hide or sort metrics by clicking on Configure Metrics from the drop-down menu at the top right corner.

Configure Metrics page

Filters

  • Create a filter to see data for a specific date range or filter by other fields included in the object selected for the value stream map. 

New filter button

  • Applying a filter will automatically adjust the standard and custom metrics:
Filter page

You can now use the contains filter logic or build a filter based on a picklist field.

Drill into your data!

  • Click on any process block or stage to see the underlying records and navigate to the data displayed on the stage or process block:
Stage or process block information
Active items report

  • Go directly to the record to take action by clicking on the record name. 

Edit, Delete, Deactivate 

  • Click on Edit at the top right corner to edit the details of your value stream map such as the Name or the Description. 
  • Click on Delete at the top right corner to delete your value stream map.
    • When deleting a value stream map, all corresponding events are deleted.
  • To deactivate a value stream map, select Deactivate from the drop-down menu at the top right corner.
Deactivate Value Stream Map

Recalculation

  • Recalculation can be required if you are making any changes to your value stream map mapping, stages, or process blocks. 
  • Recalculation works as a refresh of the data since the value stream map has an event creation batch that runs every hour. Running a recalculation will give you new value stream maps metrics based on the last time the value stream map was recalculated.
  • Select Recalculate from the drop-down menu at the top right corner to manually recalculate your value stream map and see the latest metrics related to your value stream map.

Flexi Page and Extensions

With the new VSM 2.3, you can extend the page by adding flexi page components with the native Lightning Builder. 

Lightning Builder

Chatter & Slack 

You can now use chatter and slack in the value stream map to collaborate with other teammates on your work items and discuss improvements for your processes based on the metrics displayed on the value stream map. 

In order to add Chatter follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Value Stream Map. 
  2. Select Edit page in the top right (lightning builder).
  3. Add a tab to the VSM detail section and name it Chatter.
  4. Drag and drop the Chatter Publisher Component into this tab. 
  5. Click on Save.

Chatter in Value Stream Map

In order to add Slack follow these steps:

  1. Install the Salesforce to Slack Plugin via Appexchange.
  2. Configure your Slack integration for the Value Stream Map object. 
  3. Navigate to the Value Stream Map record page. 
  4. Click Edit in the top right. 
  5. Add a tab to the VSM detail section and name it Slack Message
  6. Drag and drop the Slack Component into this section.
  7. Click on Save.

 

Slack in Value Stream Map


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