How VSM Connects Developer Experience with Business Needs

Posted by Dominik Rose on February 25, 2022
How VSM Connects Developer Experience with Business Needs

Meeting the needs of empowered product teams

Marty Cagan of the Silicon Value Product Group coined the term “empowered product teams” several years ago and it quickly became an industry ideal. The concept was simple: Create better products by giving developers ownership over the products they create.

Empowering developers to take ownership of product decisions allows forward-thinking CTOs to create an environment where a focus on business outcomes leads to faster learning and continuous improvement. It also cultivates a work environment that is dynamic, challenging, and fun for developers, precisely the kind of environment that will attract talent at a time when the entire industry is facing a severe talent shortage.

Any toolchain designed to support this type of empowered team must do the following:

  1. Facilitate a great developer experience.
  2. Simplify processes by analyzing contextualized overviews of software artifacts like microservices, code libraries, and runtime environments.
  3. Provide timely feedback on outcomes to help teams understand whether they are on the right track.

Meeting the needs of the business

Business leaders have embraced the idea that “every company is a software company.” In other words, developing software in-house is now seen as critical to differentiation and success in every industry. Naturally, if software is going to provide a competitive advantage, you cannot simply outsource software development.

That being said, CTOs still face challenges when it comes to convincing the rest of the C-suite to invest in platforms and solutions that support efficiency in the development process – such as a particular developer platform – or increase the team’s ability to react to emerging business needs, such as API monetization.

Improving the entire value stream by combining an internal developer platform with a service catalog

The right developer platform optimizes the developer experience. It helps teams automate tasks, streamline collaboration between Development & Operations, and optimize for established metrics like DORA. Integrating this platform with a modern service catalog can further improve the developer experience by helping the team:

  • Democratize knowledge to deliver value faster – This information can include identifying the technical owner of a particular service, best practices in a certain domain, data on technical risks (e.g., log4shell), or templates to ramp-up software faster.
  • Increase software delivery efficiency – The catalog can automatically document software in development based on aligned tags, labels & metadata, and calculate KPIs, such as DORA metrics, based on events. In turn, developers can uncover and eliminate bottlenecks and waste.
  • Share a common language with business stakeholders – When used in combination with a tool like LeanIX EAM, the service catalog can match technical experts (e.g., teams) directly to business stakeholders (e.g., application owner, support), keeping technical and business views of the process in sync.
  • Incorporating governance as an inherent part of software delivery – A service catalog makes it possible to optimize support processes, understand the context of technical vulnerabilities, and overall reduce time-consuming tasks so that teams from can focus on coding.

Integrating your dev platform with a service catalog creates a virtuous circle. By improving the developer experience, it allows teams to be more efficient while also providing relevant feedback on the outcomes of their efforts. This feedback, in turn, can be used to improve the development process and ensure alignment between the business and dev teams, leading to better outcomes such as faster value delivery.


If you're interested in this subject, be sure to check out Dominik Rose's upcoming webinar, "Spot the difference(s): Service Catalogs vs IDPs".