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Applying Value Stream Mapping and Optimization to Agile Development

If we were to create a basic value stream map for product delivery, it might look something like this:


Steps: Ideation -> Development -> Testing -> Deployment
Step Owner: Business Team Development Team QA Team Service Team

Agile techniques like Lean and Scrum promote the concept of continuous improvement in the processes and practices used by a Development Team to create products. Organizations that successfully adopt Agile often quickly see performance improvements for the Development Team. But then problems arise when the Development Team outpaces the QA Team downstream, resulting in testing piling up and product deployment being delayed. The problems can also occur at upstream of development. If a Business Team cannot generate project ideas fast enough, the optimized Development Team may be sitting idle at times.
Organizations new to Agile soon learn that Agile can increase the speed of software development, but not necessarily software delivery. To truly delivery IT products faster, Agile alone is not the answer. We need to understand how to optimize the entire value stream flow, not just the development step.

Please join us at the November 28th meeting of the Louisville Agile Forum as Dale Gibbons leads a discussion and demonstration of value stream mapping and the fallacy of sub-optimization.

About the speaker, Dale Gibbons:

Dale uses a unique set of operational and business development skills to help organizations profitably Find, Win and Keep customers better than their competitors.

He is Vice President and COO with Farm Credit Services Mid-America, an $18 billion lender serving farmers of all sizes and rural residents with as little as five acres. He is also an entrepreneur, writer and speaker.

He owns two successful small businesses that employ over 50 people. He also publishes professional development newsletters which reach thousands of professionals monthly on performance excellence, management and leadership.

Dale is a graduate of Purdue University and he began his career in the aerospace industry in 1987 as a field service liaison with General Electric's aircraft engine group.

After working 18 years with firms like GE, Compaq, EDS and Manpower, Inc., Dale acquired a small, struggling technology firm in 2005. While applying his passion for process improvement, marketing and sales, he reinvented the business, which is now ranked 4th on the Business First list of 50 largest Louisville, KY area technology firms and has made the Inc. Magazine list of fastest growing private small businesses in the U.S.

After turning the tech firm around, Dale replaced himself in 2008 and currently plays a passive role of coach and advisor to the management team. Dale founded The Continuous Improvement Center in 2008, consulting with businesses on process improvement and performance excellence.

Dale is active with the Kentucky Center for Performance Excellence, where he serves on the operating committee and also as an examiner for the Malcom Baldrige Performance Excellence Award. Dale also serves on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Really good people there. The topic was a little too high-level for me.

    November 30, 2012

  • Alston H.

    Really enjoyed the talk and demo!

    November 29, 2012

13 went

Our Sponsors

  • MODIS

    Modis will be hosting and sponsoring the June 17th meeting.

  • Eliassen Group

    sponsoring the October 2015 meeting by providing the food and speaker!

  • Click IT Staffing

    Click IT will provide the venue & food for the Feb 18, 2015 meeting!

  • KForce

    will be hosting the November 19, 2014 meeting at their office.

  • Tandem Solution

    provided the facilities & food for the September 17, 2014 meeting!

  • Farm Credit Mid-America

    Provides venue for most of our monthly meetings! Thanks Farm Credit!

  • Papa John's

    hosted the October 2013 meeting

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