Plutora Blog - Agile Release Management, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Value Stream Management
The Top Value Stream Management ToolsReading time 7 minutes
We’re here to talk about value stream management. More specifically, we’ll cover the top value stream management tools that should be on your radar. If you aren’t familiar with the concept of value stream management, don’t worry. Before we get to the tools themselves, we’ll cover some fundamentals. Then, we’ll get to the list itself, which features not only the leaders in the VSM space—the four first listed—but strong performers and contenders as well. Let’s get to it.
Value Stream Management Tools: Why They Matter
In order to understand value stream management, we need to first define “value stream.” What does this concept mean? Why does it need to be managed?
Value streams—or IT value streams—refer to each step in the software development cycle that creates value for the customers. In other words, a value stream is everything that moves the product or service closer to completion and being able to give the customers what they need.
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Value stream management is the process of improving the different value streams in an organization. That way, the organization can work in a more efficient, more predictable, quicker, and safer way. Organizations can then manage their software development process from the origin of an idea until it goes to production.
The Top Value Stream Management Tools and Solutions You Should Know About
More than a simple tool, Plutora is a comprehensive value stream management platform. Think of an enterprise that leverages a large number of best-of-breed tools. Each tool caters to some aspect of the overall value stream management process. If this set of tools was an orchestra, think of Plutora as its conductor. Plutora is meant to be the single source of truth for your software operation. It gives you a high-level view of your whole software development endeavor. And it does so independently of the tools, vendors, and methodologies used. It correlates data across every piece of the whole puzzle, from idea emergence to its delivery as a finished feature. You can request a Plutora demo today to see if it’s right for your organization.
Tasktop Viz, compared to most other tools on our list, is a new offering, which hasn’t prevented it from quickly becoming a leader in the VSM tool space. One of Tasktop Viz’s main value propositions is visibility. It offers dashboards that provide live value stream visualization, leveraging a different approach to metrics it calls “Flow Metrics”. With Flow Metrics, users can evaluate the benefits each value stream delivers, correlating that with business outcomes, in real-time.
ServiceNow offers a unique approach to value stream management that’s particularly strong when it comes to governance and compliance. Because of that, ServiceNow’s suite of solutions might be particularly attractive to customers that operate in industries that are highly regulated. By leveraging ServiceNow’s capabilities, such organizations can automate much of their compliance and governance processes, forgoing manual sign-offs. All of that contributes to value reaching the end-user earlier and more reliably.
Digital.ai’s Value Stream Platform was formerly known as XebiaLabs DevOps Platform. This platform offers enterprise clients control and visibility over their teams, tools, and processes. With this platform, organizations can evaluate how their software capabilities achieve their business outcomes. This platform has strong capabilities when it comes to release automation, since Digital.ai was one of the first vendors in that space.
IBM UrbanCode Velocity
IBM offers value stream management, pipeline orchestration, and real-time analytics to help you visualize through IBM UrbanCode Velocity. This solution has strong integration capabilities, besides offering valuable metrics and KPIs. Unlike some of the other items in our list, Velocity is very much developer-oriented, which means its UX can be somewhat challenging for non-technical users.
Targetprocess defines itself as an Agile portfolio and work management tool. It can help organizations in different ways. Firstly, it helps enterprises adopt and scale agile across the whole organization. Most importantly, when using Targetprocess, organizations can choose between established frameworks such as the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and LeSS, or implement their own frameworks.
With its tools, Quali offers organizations solutions that cater to different needs. From DevOps cloud automation to test environment as a service, Quali allows organizations to fulfill their automation needs, improve their release management processes, and deliver value to their customers in a more predictable way.
CloudBees Software Delivery Management
CloudBees offers a suite of solutions and tools and has been increasing its offering through the acquisition of key players in the VSM space. Under the umbrella of CloudBees Software Delivery Management, CloudBees allows organizations to eliminate silos of information by having a unified data model everyone has access to. With CloudBees, organizations can have full visibility and universal insights from across the whole toolchain. Though it looks promising, the CLoudBees platform still lacks some capabilities, especially when it comes to governance and compliance, areas where some of the other solutions excel.
ConnectALL is a value stream management solution. It helps organizations mature their software development processes. Also, it enables organizations to capture metrics that help improve both speed and delivery quality. It also empowers organizations to align tech and business, making sure business outcomes are mapped to software development initiatives.
Atlassian Jira Align
Atlassian makes Jira, one of the most used and well-known tools for software management projects. Recently, it expanded to value stream management, since it acquired AgileCraft—now rebranded as Jira Align. With Jira Align, organizations can enhance their planning powers to the enterprise-scale, offering real-time visibility that connects software tasks with business goals. Since it’s a newish contender, Jira Align is still behind some of its competitors, particularly when it comes to integration with third-party tools, making it a better choice for teams and organizations that are already invested in the Atlassian ecosystem.
GitLab first appeared as a contender in the continuous integration/repository management space. It then quickly expanded its features. Nowadays, GitLab is a comprehensive platform. It includes not only source code management and CI/CD, but also security features, agile project management, and more. Finally, it has specific versions targeted at both enterprises and smaller businesses.
Blueprint can help organizations with constraints and regulations that change often. By leveraging its capabilities, customers can track regulation and requirement changes throughout the software development lifecycle. That way, they can better respond to changes in such constraints. This makes Blueprint a strong contender when it comes to compliance, even though its capabilities might lack in other areas, compared with other tools in this list.
We live in a highly competitive era in the technology world. Organizations of all sizes need to keep evolving and adapting. Speed is essential, but so is quality. In this context, value stream management is vital for organizations. By improving their value streams, companies can deliver value to their customers quicker and more reliably. Here’s the good news: organizations today have many value stream management tools at their disposal. Such tools can help companies at each step of their SDLC processes, so they deliver value more efficiently. And now that you’ve learned about some of the main value stream management tools, you’re ready to improve your value streams and deliver more value to your customers. You can read the Gartner and Forrester reports on value stream management tools to learn more.