Collaboration is Key to Value Stream Management

Jason Ng | Aug 18, 2021

Mobile app deployment is a challenging process that incorporates many activities and their respective toolchains. There’s obtaining the app binary, scanning the app for security vulnerabilities, integrating new features, signing the app, and distributing the app. To make mobile app deployment workflows more efficient, your company perhaps made the worthwhile investment of acquiring a value stream management platform, which helps by providing overarching visibility of those workflows and orchestrating deployment activities. 

However, what is often overlooked is the reality that multiple different teams are simultaneously working together to deploy a single mobile app; each of which being likely responsible for a particular activity in a mobile app deployment workflow. The main question then becomes: how does it all come together? 

To answer that question, companies must be able to confidently rely on their value stream management platform, because one of its core capabilities should be support for collaboration. Gartner defines collaboration as infrastructure that supports teamwork and allows for the sharing of artifacts between team members. Given the multistep nature of mobile app deployment and the many technologies and teams involved, IT Operations will find themselves resonating a great deal with the adoption of better collaboration measures.

Everyone for Themselves

Without the emphasis on collaboration, companies would struggle with optimizing their mobile app deployment workflows. The many teams involved would likely have ineffective communications with one another, which could entail confusion regarding delivery deadlines or misinterpretations of shared priority lists. In addition, teams can struggle with a host of incoordination issues. Errors encountered during a given app deployment workflow could be left unresolved for significant periods of time. The absence of collaboration can also contribute to inefficient allocation of human resources as individuals who might specialize in one aspect of mobile app deployment could be assigned to another unfamiliar task. Given all these possibilities, the immediate consequences companies will face when not implementing effective collaboration measures will be bottlenecks and roadblocks in their app deployment workflows as a result of miscommunication and noncooperation. This becomes a major disadvantage when the overall goal is to push out mobile apps within a previously agreed upon time frame.

Instant Visual Access for Improved Collaboration

Value stream management platforms have shown their potential with regards to optimizing app deployment efficiency and gauging mobile app value through the offering of instant overarching visibility. Now, let’s learn what a value stream management platform can potentially offer in terms of improving the degree of collaboration between IT Operations and other teams during mobile app deployment. 

A value stream management platform can help facilitate improved collaboration by serving as a centralized hub for the organization and sharing of detailed user feedback. Teams can expect the platform to provide a summary for all mobile apps that were given feedback in addition to other useful information such as the individuals that provided them and when it was posted. With collaboration enhanced by the efficient gathering of user feedback, IT Ops can begin to recognize some valuable benefits such as speeding up the mobile app deployment process and improving the overall functionality of a given mobile app.

For starters, a value stream management platform could help with removing bottlenecks and roadblocks during mobile app deployment. With the heightened visibility provided, mentions about such warnings wouldn’t get buried or lost among the chaos of navigating through the many deployment activities. The potential emphasis on the date when feedback was gathered can aid with recognizing priority among the different items that need to be addressed. By eliminating bottlenecks and roadblocks before they can materialize and pose any significant threat to the respective mobile app deployment workflow, IT Ops teams can ensure that they are deploying their product as efficiently as humanly possible. 

Another benefit that a value stream management platform can provide is greater cohesion among the various teams involved. It can assist with orchestrating all team members so that they all align with a singular mindset or goal when deploying a given mobile app. This becomes a major advantage given the complex nature of mobile app deployment, which, as mentioned in the beginning, encompasses multiple teams working together on multiple different stages. 

This collaboration-centered value stream management functionality can also be especially useful for optimizing interactions between IT Ops and pilot groups. Prior to a mobile app being distributed to all end users, it would normally undergo initial testing by pilot groups of end users who provide feedback about the app. With the platform described, IT Ops can more efficiently gather such feedback and incorporate it into improvement updates that would increase product functionality and user experience. 

A key characteristic of value stream management platforms is its capability of integrating already owned technologies and services into a given workflow. This concept can also be applied to the submission and aggregation of feedback that will help drive up collaboration across teams. Feedback could be submitted through a variety of common channels. For example, feedback could be collected by monitoring messages sent to a channel in an enterprise collaboration solution such as Slack that is unique to a mobile app. IT Operations could also configure the value stream management platform to automatically aggregate feedback sent to a custom email alias. Facilitating the collection of feedback through channels that end users want to communicate through lowers collaboration barriers.

Automating the collection of feedback through a value stream management platform makes it easy for IT Operations to access in-depth feedback for mobile apps. For example, the value stream management platform might display the specific mobile app deployment stage or activity that the feedback refers to, which makes for better organization and easier visibility. It may also provide an indication into whether or not each member, from whom feedback has been requested, has provided it. 

Work Remotely with Confidence

By supporting collaboration among different teams working together throughout the different stages of mobile app deployment, a value stream management platform can indirectly lay a stronger foundation for a remote work setting. This comes in handy when considering the reality that more and more businesses are now digitizing for the present and future. In a remote work environment, cross-team collaboration becomes challenging as there is no longer the convenience of having instant access to a fellow team member across the hall or table in the office. There is also the factor of time zone differences that complicates things further by introducing work schedule conflicts between different teams. By investing in a value stream management tool that facilitates improved collaboration measures like the ones mentioned above, teams can work remotely with confidence while maintaining the level of productivity that’s achieved at the traditional office setting. 

Visibility Through Value Stream Management Improves Collaboration

While thoughts of mobile app deployment efficiency tend to drift toward how the various technologies involved could be optimized, companies should not forget that efficiency also entails effective collaboration between IT Operations and the other teams involved. Without proper emphasis on collaboration, IT Ops teams would struggle with noncooperation and miscommunication that could result in unresolved issues or ineffective assignments of human labor. Value stream management platforms will be a heavily sought after solution for this concern given how one of their core emphases is collaboration. By acquiring this solution, companies can significantly reduce the frequency of bottlenecks and roadblocks during mobile app deployment, which optimizes product delivery time and generates more value for end users and the companies themselves. Finally, it also better accommodates for remote work settings that become ever more common due to the ongoing growth of business digitizations.

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