Customer stories

An HCM software company logoAn HCM software company

HCM software company commissions an OpenText™ Value Stream Mapping Workshop to find opportunities for optimizing its software delivery life cycle

An HCM software company logo

About the customer

Based in the Asia-Pacific region, this company is an acknowledged leader in the provision of human resources/human capital management and payroll software solutions.

Smiling human resources representative working at her desk
  • Region:



  • Monolithic software products increased time to market.
  • Siloed development teams struggled to coordinate work.
  • Changing priorities meant resources were moved around, causing delays in delivery.


  • Engaged a partner for value stream mapping.
  • Identified current issues and constraints.
  • Analyzed the software development life cycle.


  • product-connect Agreed on key software lifecycle process definitions
  • network-database Embraced SAFe and DevOps
  • tablet-increase Gained recommendations for optimization


  • Monolithic software products increased the time required to bring innovative ideas to market
  • Operating in silos, development teams struggled to coordinate activities effectively
  • Changing the priority of initiatives and requirements meant that resources are moved around without understanding the impact, causing delays in delivery

A mid-sized software company in the Asia-Pacific region, specializing in payroll and human capital management (HCM) software solutions for a global customer base, wanted to increase the speed at which it can bring valuable new functionality to market.

The company’s software products benefit from its 40 years of experience, but tend to be monolithic and built by teams that are siloed along functional and technological lines. Agile development processes are being introduced, but the overall software delivery life cycle (SDLC) is framed by waterfall processes. The result is that it can take six months to turn an idea into delivered software.

The software company has a monthly release program, but these releases relate to ideas from six to 12 months ago—and the company wanted to ensure that it can react faster and more effectively to solve emerging challenges and help its customers seize new opportunities.

In addition to accelerating delivery, the company wanted to gain a clearer and more detailed view of the processes and resources involved at every stage of the existing software lifecycle. Their goals were to increase efficiency and quality, solve issues early rather than letting them grow into larger problems further downstream, and make sure that all work actively contributed to business value for both the company and its customers.

A company spokesperson said, “We’re looking to gain better visibility of the existing organizational structures and processes around software development. This will enable us to identify opportunities to optimize our approach and create a workable plan for transformation.”

Group of colleagues looking at a tablet

We were impressed by OpenText’s credentials and experience in the VSM space, and we liked the well-defined nature of the workshop.

An HCM software company


The software company engaged OpenText Professional Services to deliver a Value Stream Mapping Workshop with the goal of creating a blueprint for a faster, more efficient, and more effective software lifecycle management in the future.

Services provided

Engaging a partner for value stream management

Value stream management (VSM) is a proven approach for enhancing the value and quality of software delivery. It provides visibility across the full development and delivery lifecycle and seeks to maximize value and throughput while eliminating waste. Organizations can use VSM tools to provide a macro view of the software lifecycle from ideation to delivery, helping them shift from a features-and-functionality approach to a product operating model. VSM also helps organizations discover silos, roadblocks, points of risk, and inefficiencies among cross-functional teams.

The first step in adopting VSM is often to undertake a value stream mapping exercise—a lean-management method of analyzing the current state and designing an optimized future state for the software lifecycle. To help businesses understand how value streams work and set a baseline for adopting VSM, OpenText offers its Value Stream Mapping Workshop.

“We were impressed by OpenText’s credentials and experience in the VSM space, and we liked the well-defined nature of the workshop,” said the spokesperson. “The emphasis was on providing a set of workable next steps based on the findings, so we felt that the workshop would offer a practical way forward.”

Identifying current issues and constraints

The Workshop is designed for the whole spectrum of people typically involved in a software product: business owners, project managers, architects, product managers, business analysts, developers, testers, IT operations personnel, cybersecurity personnel, and customer support personnel. It equips businesses to map out their existing software lifecycle in terms of what resources and teams it involves, what tools they use, how long each step takes, and what governs the handover from one stage to the next.

During the Value Stream Mapping Workshop, OpenText worked with the HCM software company to determine the scope of the exercise, create the current value stream map, identify the main issues and constraints, and create the desired future state value map. They also worked together to create a “hypothesis backlog”—a list of initiatives designed to move the company from the current state to the future state. Finally, OpenText provided a clear set of recommendations for next steps.

Analyzing the software lifecycle

The first key action in the workshop process was for the HCM software company to identify and secure the availability of the main participants for an initial four-day exercise mapping out the payroll and HCM software value delivery streams.

The main challenges identified by the joint team during the Workshop were:

  • Significant amounts of functionality to build and maintain.
  • Changing priorities during development, with late removal or addition of tasks, last-minute changes, and scope creep.
  • Issues around the availability of the appropriate resources at the required points in the lifecycle.
  • Segregation of teams into functional and technological silos complicating the coordination of delivery activities.
  • Inaccuracies in work item lists causing delays and significant rework.
  • Lack of automation in processes.
  • Lack of overall portfolio management.
  • Overdependence on Quality Assurance testing to find and resolve issues in code.
  • Difficulties in determining and meeting delivery timelines.
  • Difficulties in articulating and understanding the company’s software development lifecycle.

“As we went through every step in the existing lifecycle, we talked through the issues,” said the spokesperson. “The workshop is quite intensive, and it generates a lot of interesting and challenging conversations. People who didn’t necessarily work much together reached a better understanding of each other’s roles and constraints, so it was a great exercise in terms of starting to break down organizational silos.”

Following the four-day workshop phase were two days of review, in which OpenText worked with the software company’s subject matter experts to review and quantify identified steps in the current value stream. This enabled the joint team to confirm the completeness and correctness of the map, and to identify the current bottlenecks in the software lifecycle.

Next came a two-day assessment phase in which OpenText and the HCM software company co-created an optimized customer journey and roadmap, with the output being the target future state map and the “hypothesis backlog”—effectively, the to-do list. Finally, on day 10, OpenText provided a full walkthrough of the findings and presented its recommendations.

Person working on a laptop

As a result of the OpenText Value Stream Mapping Workshop, we are now in a strong position to evaluate new solutions and approaches, because we have a clear baseline of where we are today, and a clear vision of where we want to be.

An HCM software company


For the HCM software company, the OpenText Value Stream Mapping Workshop represented a fast, productive first step into value stream management, with concrete outcomes and a clear future direction for enhancement.

Agreed on key process definitions

The mapping workshop quickly got company decision makers talking about the steps in their software lifecycle in an open and productive manner.

“OpenText went through examples of similar challenges faced by other customers and showed how they’d resolved them, which really helped get things moving,” said the spokesperson. “The mapping was a greatly beneficial exercise, particularly in terms of making us agree on the “definition of done”—that is, how we know when a stage is complete and the baton can pass to the next set of stakeholders.”

Embraced SAFe and DevOps

A key finding of the Workshop was that the company’s current hybrid of newer agile and older waterfall approaches reduced delivery speed, prompting the recommendation to adopt an approach based on Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and to embrace DevOps methodologies from idea through to release.

“The OpenText consultants explained how we could change the way we operate so that we can reduce cycle time without impacting quality,” said the spokesperson. “The key for us will be to get feedback earlier, both from customers and from our dev/test teams, so that we can take the right decisions much sooner.”

Gained recommendations for optimization

OpenText made recommendations based on learnings from the Workshop. Among these was that the HCM software provider should adopt five new practices:

  1. Portfolio management using OpenText™ ValueEdge™ Strategy—to gain business agility and help ensure that value flows rapidly from ideas into production.
  2. Value stream management using OpenText™ ValueEdge™—to guide value-producing work in a smooth flow.
  3. Applying DevOps practices and tools across development and testing—to provide speed and agility while reducing waste and rework.
  4. Automation and improved practices—including continuous testing and continuous delivery, for faster feedback and reduced defects.
  5. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)—as a new set of overarching organizational and workflow patterns.

Based on OpenText’s experience with other customers, introducing these practices will enable the software company to evolve from inflexible hierarchy to flexible autonomy, and from silos to agile value-stream-aligned teams.

“As a result of the OpenText Value Stream Mapping Workshop, we are now in a strong position to evaluate new solutions and approaches, because we have a clear baseline of where we are today, and a clear vision of where we want to be,” said the spokesperson. “Our transformation is really going to pivot on cultural and process issues rather than tools: we need to align how we develop software with the products we’re delivering to customers, so that we understand the end-to-end value. By doing that we’ll have less friction and waste, more speed and quality, and above all the ability to go from an idea to something that’s delivering value for our customers within a much shorter timescale.”