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Value Stream Measurement and Management

Improve the speed and quality of complex application development and delivery with visibility of the entire process across the enterprise portfolio.

I had the opportunity to speak with Bob Davis, CMO, and Jeff Keyes, V.P. of Products at Plutora to learn how their platform and business have evolved since we met at DevOps World last year.

Bob and Jeff have seen an increase in engagement with customers and prospects since the Covid-19 pandemic. Customers are looking at how they can get more insights from their software development process and improve organizational performance as employees and developers are working from home.

Highly compliant businesses like banks, telcos, and healthcare are particularly sensitive to implementing and managing their business. As such, value stream management helps fill the gap between business goals and software development to reduce time to value.

Plutora’s software sits above the toolchain to aggregate and model data to manage, orchestrate, and understand dependencies. The analytics layer drives dashboards and analytics for predictive analytics, machine learning, patterns, and execution.

By visualizing individual and team performance, managers can align work across teams regardless of methodologies or geography. The orchestration layer gives managers complete control of multiple pipelines with the ability to automate, standardize, and orchestrate complex releases to reduce risk.

Value stream outcomes include the correlation of data points, the correlation of user stories, as well as NPS scores and support cases. This provides the ability to create specific plans and identify the value expected relative to the scope of the items.

The value stream dashboard provides phased analysis with averages and ranges so users can focus on efficiency and overlay costs. There is also a dashboard around DORA metrics like cycle time, MTTR, and deployment frequency. Development POV metrics enable users to deliver on value metrics by identifying bottlenecks, seeing the efficiency of pipelines, and team-level metrics.

Case Study

O2 is a leading mobile network operator and the principal commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited. It has around 6,700 employees in the UK across three main offices and 450 stores.

The IT test environment management group supports a large number of internal teams. They were faced with over 30,000 emails and remedy requests relating to nonproduction environments. In addition, scheduling environments were not centrally managed to allow each team to manually add their bookings into spreadsheets with little or no collaboration or arbitration of conflicts. Management of communication and schedules was an unsustainable situation without more effective tools or a lot more people.

After a two-month external review of IT test environment tools, O2 and NTT DATA selected Plutora because it is an independent, dedicated, test environment management platform that could be rolled out across the business.

It delivered the following outcomes:

  • 100% visibility of the test environment planning

  • Enable unified scheduling for the first time

  • Centralized environment booking and change requests for testing and change management

  • Automation of manual improvement processes to increase productivity and reduce resource duplication

  • Integrate seamlessly with standard APIs so other systems and tools used in the O2 ecosystem can benefit and further reduce effort and manual updates

  • Self-service capability for the senior leadership team

  • Real-time dashboards, alerts, notifications, and analysis to engage stakeholders and reduce unplanned outages

Many IT testing problems the company experienced in the past have disappeared. Standardizing IT test environments has meant a considerable reduction in testing effort and a much easier, more efficient way of managing IT schedule conflicts. Now key stakeholders can be alerted automatically to any issues or changes in IT environment status.

Release and environment teams no longer rely on spreadsheets. Manual improvement processes have been automated and standardized. A single, dynamic view of IT test environments has been created from which vital intelligence is garnered to prevent any detrimental impact on internal project delivery. This has contributed to O2 ’s IT modernization and reduced unplanned non-production downtime by 50% in a year.

O2 is using the reporting feature to automate monthly KPI reports, thereby improving measurement and giving a foundation for productivity improvement.


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