Getting started

Follow our established best practices to get quickly onboarded to VSM

To generate value you need a strong foundation

Value Stream Management (VSM) is a way to manage the flow of value from concept to delivery in a development organization. Before you can start using VSM for use cases like Software Bill of Materials, API Catalog, Business Alignment & Project-to-Product or Engineering Efficiency, it's important to lay the foundation by creating a reliable Service Catalog with assigned team ownership.

Creating a reliable service catalog with assigned team ownership is crucial for effective VSM. Without this foundation, insights from further VSM use cases will not be actionable. The foundation provides a clear understanding of services and accountability, essential for successful VSM implementation.

In summary, to get started with Value Stream Management (VSM), you need to follow these four steps:

  1. Import your services by identifying all the services provided by your organization.
  2. Map the services into a catalog by filtering out duplicates or unnecessary data.
  3. Assign ownership of each service to a team to ensure accountability and clarity.
  4. Continuously track progress and improve using health metrics.

It is recommended to roll out the process iteratively, starting with a limited scope and then expanding as success is achieved.

Step 1: Import your services

Services should be discovered and maintained using an integration. It is simply not possible to maintain this data manually. To get a quick start we recommend to use one of our out-of-the-box code repository integrations. With a single setup you can scan a large chunk of repositories.

Currently we provide the following integrations out of the box:

  1. GitHub SaaS
  2. GitHub Enterprise (Early Access)
  3. Azure Repos

If code repositories are not an option for you we have two alternatives:

  1. Scanning your K8s clusters to discover services at runtime.
  2. Use our APIs to import services from your build pipeline.

More out-of-the-box integrations are on our roadmap. Please give us feedback if you can't find your system of choice.

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Limited scope helps to get started

Getting buy-in for a large scale integration effort is hard. We recommend to start small. Scan the GitHub organization that is closest to you. Or run our K8s agent in clusters that you control. Once you can demonstrate value to your colleagues it will be easier to do a roll-out.

Step 2: Map services into your catalog

Raw data coming from our integrations and discovery APIs will not immediately be displayed in your service catalog. Usually this data contains duplicates or unwanted items (e.g. repositories that aren't real services).

The mapping inbox gives you powerful tools to filter this data and make a fast decision on what data to import or ignore. There are two workflows that you can use:

  1. Central decision: You can centrally map the data using our mapping inbox. We provide bulk actions, search and filters to edit many items at once.
  2. Division of labor: It can be advantageous to invite the teams working on the services you want to import into the workspace at this stage. They can then use their knowledge to do the map and claim ownership of services in all at once. If every team maps there services, no one has to work through hundreds of entries and you can get the job done fast.

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A combination of both workflows is the key to success

We recommend to go with the second approach to make the task less burdensome for everyone. However, once the initial wave of mappings has been done by the teams you can use the mapping inbox to clean up the remaining data or to follow up with teams that haven't done their task.

Step 3: Assign ownership to services

If you followed step 2 of the mapping process, you might have gotten a good part of this step covered. However, in most organizations there will be a residual amount of services that might not have been claimed by any team. This is the interesting part where VSM can help you to clean up unclear ownership.

Assigning ownership to services is critical for achieving any use cases related to development efficiency or security. But also the process itself can already be very valuable for your organization. Because unclaimed services that nobody knows how to operate anymore, that are still running, are a risk to your business.

There are two places you can check for unassigned services:

  1. If you still have unmapped data in your mapping inbox of type service then you should follow the recommendations above to resolve this.
  2. If you have completed mapping you can use the health metrics dashboard on the home screen to locate services without a team. Simply click on the KPI to receive a list of services that need to be addressed.

Step 4: Continuously track progress and improve using health metrics

Setting the foundation can seem overwhelming and hard. And even if the foundation is established it will require updating. For that reason we introduced the Workspace Health Dashboard.

This Dashboard in Home-section is only visible to admins. It shows you the current state of data in your workspace.

If you want to improve a certain KPI simply click on it, and it will direct you to the right place in the workspace or show you data that needs improvement.

With the "Next most powerful step" we give you an indication of what you should be focusing on.

We recommend regularly reviewing the dashboard to observe changes and challenge your current initiatives.

Don't have VSM yet?

No problem! - https://www.leanix.net/en/demo-vsm enables you to setup your own personal environment within minutes. The Onboarding Companion guides you through your first steps, so that you can see results within minutes.

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Be encouraged to provision a demo environment

Even if you are an existing customer, a look into a personal demo environment often helps. We curate the demo data & would love to get your feedback


What’s Next

Once the foundation is created, possibilities are vast. We recommend looking into open source software risk or API catalogs next.