Value stream for QA?

by | Sep 24, 2020

In 2013 as I was finishing up my studies for my MBA, I did something very unconventional in the business world. I used Value Stream to show that QA is a valuable asset for an organization. For those that are not familiar with Value Stream, let me explain.

On Wikipedia, here is the definition of Value Stream:

“Value streams are artifacts within business architecture that allow a business to specify the value proposition derived by an external (e.g., customer) or internal stakeholder from an organization. A value stream depicts the stakeholders initiating and involved in the value stream, the stages that create specific value items, and the value proposition derived from the value stream. The value stream is depicted as an end-to-end collection of value-adding activities that create an overall result for a customer, stakeholder, or end-user.

In modeling terms, those value-adding activities are represented by value stream stages, each of which creates and adds incremental stakeholder value items from one stage to the next.[1] While value streams are referenced in multiple methodologies, there is increasing agreement[2] on the description and the purpose of value streams as a core domain of business architecture[3] and Scaled Agile Framework[4], which has since been applied by multiple standards bodies.[5] [6]

Based on that, what I did was not following the principles of what a Value Stream is. See QA is a small component of an organization’s overall value stream and should not be a stream on its own. Even in a supporting measure, it does not all under the parameters needed.

The purpose for me doing this was to give information to those that do not understand the value QA brings and provide it in a messaging that they would understand, or at the very least, be able to follow. So to that end, I accomplished what I wanted to do, which was to start the conversation and help bring to light the hidden value organizations have with a QA team doing QA things.