What is a Value Stream?

It may not be obvious, by the concept of a value stream is one of the most important concepts in a digital transformation.  Why?   Because once you understand a value stream, you start to truly understand your business and you’re on a clear path to improving customer experience.  Exceptional customer experience is your key business differentiator in the world of digital disruption and needs to be the core focus of any digital transformation.

Let’s define a value stream.  I’ll use what I consider, to be the best sources of knowledge reference. 

First from Scaled Agile.  

If you click on the image it will take you to the Leading SAFe 2 Day course I run at ALC Training.

Second from the TOGAF certification, written by the Open Group:

And here is a picture of a sample value stream map for an online purchase:

And here is another, outlining an emergency hospital admission:

As you can see it’s a simple overview, usually shown in 5-9 stages, of how a product or service starts life and is delivered to the consumer. 

As you can see, the business processes beneath can vary in complexity.  With an online purchase, the process is relatively simple.  With say intensive care, the process can be extremely complex and there are probably 1000’s or paths, depending on the type of care required.

It can also be known as:

Clearly, there are many values streams and they are quite different between industries.

Once we understand our value stream, we can then consider decomposing each component into systems and people.  An example of this is from Scaled Agile, where they define two types of value streams:

You’ll notice that the operational value stream is the one that is focused on the customer.  Whereas the development value stream is aligned to delivering systems in an agile manner.  In fact, these are development value streams are also known as a CI/CD pipeline:

So what we’ve now done, is to understand our business in the context of delivering value through software.  We cover this in our DevOps Foundation course:

Any questions on Scaled Agile or DevOps concepts, as always please reach out via twitter – @MusicComposer1 or find me on LinkedIn:

Why should Enterprise & Solution Architects take TOGAF Parts 1 & 2?

Because…….Part 1 (TOGAF Foundation) only covers the theory, whereas Part 2 (TOGAF Certified) covers the practical, hands-on knowledge and experience required for real enterprise and solution architects.  If you want to learn how to really use TOGAF, you need to do both….here is why?

TOGAF is a framework for developing complex solutions.  By complex solutions, I mean solutions that involve many different components and involve more than 20 people to develop.  Examples include:

Here is a good link showing TOGAF being used in an Aviation Case Study:


It is used by IT architects, to make sure that nothing in the solution has been overlooked.  Companies working in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, consumer technology, aerospace, government and industries that are highly regulated, all require architects to be TOGAF Certified.  This means both Part 1 and Part 2.  

There are 2 levels are outlined below:

  1. Part 1 – TOGAF 9 Foundation
  2. Part 2 – TOGAF 9 Certified

TOGAF Foundation (Part 1)

This is run as a 2 day course and includes all theory.  It includes:


TOGAF Certified (Part 2)

This is run as a 2 day course, immediately after the 2 day Foundation course.  It covers exercises on how to apply the theory in Part 1, and includes:

Here is one view, of the TOGAF meta-model, (copyright Open Group):

Interested in learning more about completing both parts of TOGAF.  Check out our courses here:


If you want to learn more about TOGAF and understand what is included in the latest TOGAF 9.2 course, check out my blog article here:


And here is a special flashcard quizlet I created for you to use for FREE:



TOGAF® is a registered trademarks of The Open Group.