Step 3. Utilise your Catalogs

With your VSM catalogs all set up its time to take a closer look at how they are best utilised. Strong use of VSM is essential to embed it in your engineering organisation and foster a culture that organically maintains this central system - otherwise you miss out on quick wins, risk maintaining data in an unreliably fashion and drastically limits its use. Below we look at one of the key scenarios and processes to utilise VSM:

Engineering Onboarding

Onboarding new engineers is a key process for any engineering organisation and one in which VSM can provide strong support. Today we want to look at 3 core areas of a typical onboarding where VSM insights can enable a better process:

Service Architecture Overview:

During this part of our onboarding new joiners should receive an overview of the overall service architecture of the organization, including the high-level components and how they interact with each other. Aside from strategic decisions, such as the organization's system design and software architecture principles the new hire should come to understand any relevant APIs, service endpoints, and how they fit into the overall architecture - this is where VSM comes into play:

The Service catalog provides a first introduction to a companies landscape, accessible both at a global level or from a product specific perspective:

A product specific overview into the relevant services. Particularly useful as a starting point if the engineering organisation is also split by product.

A product specific overview into the relevant services. Particularly useful as a starting point if the engineering organisation is also split by product.

A global overview across all services and APIs provides a higher level perspective and can be customised with tags & filters.

A global overview across all services and APIs provides a higher level perspective and can be customised with tags & filters.

Team-Specific Overview:

Next we want to make things more specific and provide the new hire a team-focused overview of the software architecture that they will be working in. Here VSM provides a team oriented overview on services, microservices, or modules that the new hire will be working on and their relationship with the overall service architecture:

Further VSM can be used to introduce basic performance metrics, and serve as a central source of other systems (Jira pages, slack channels, teams spaces) used by the team.

Technical Orientation:

Core of the technical orientation is the introduction of the new hire to the companies' technology stack and tools used by the team, including programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and databases. VSM supports this through a centralised overview of the libraries the company uses & specific remediation strategies that might be required:

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Outlook:

We plan to further improve this case with more detailed tech radar views - if you have specific interest or insights on that visit our roadmap.