Value Stream Mapping to Improve Product Development

Spotify LogoApple Podcast Listen BadgeWatch on YouTube image
May 16, 2023

How do we visualize systems to improve product development? And where are the bounds of that system? Today I'm chatting with Rob O'Brien about process mapping, value stream mapping, and more. 

Rob is a Partner at Stride and has over ten years of product management experience that he brings to this conversation. Rob frames the debate for us by defining the 'socio-technical system' involving people, technology, and processes that all contribute to the overview of how we should see our product development systems.

How do we include the engineers, the finance department, and other organizational leaders to ensure we are creating a system that can improve our products and services and ask the right questions that will ultimately improve the way we do things? 

There's a lot that can go wrong if we make assumptions about which part of our organization needs to be involved in process mapping. Rob shares the value of defining the bounds, asking those 'low-level questions,' and how to structure a two-day conference, say, whereby you are bringing in certain departments at key stages. 

Value stream mapping to improve product development is a favorite topic of mine and one that Rob provides much insight on. I trust you'll enjoy this conversation.

 "I think the next biggest one (mistake), that actually feeds to that first mistake, is really thinking about and defining the bounds of what the system is in your world. So what do you mean by 'system' - and getting alignment on that?" - Rob O'Brien

In This Episode:

  • What do we mean by 'systems visualization?' 
  • Where do we get it wrong when we build our product development systems?
  • How do we know if we've involved all the relevant stakeholders 'enough'?
  • The value of drilling down into some of the 'low-level questions' to ultimately save time
  • The importance of having clear definitions so you can go deeper on your processes
  • 'If you see something, say something' - why it's important to speak up during the process
  • Understanding story mapping and other best practice value stream mapping approaches
  • How do we understand the specificity of what to capture?

Let's collaborate.