We start by asking people to draw a Value Stream Map. You start with a customer problem-need request, and you go to where that request is filled. So, you put on “customer glasses”, and now I want to watch what happens to that problem until it is back and the customer problem is solved. You draw a map or a timeline of everything that happens from the time the customer request comes in the organization until the customer has their problem solved. You lay out the activities there and how much of the time are you really adding customer value and how much of the time is just sitting there contending with other work that has to happen.
New book – Implementing Lean Software Development: From Concept to Cash by Mary and Tom Poppendieck.