The Silicon Review
For an enterprise to deliver its application and services faster, it is very important to have flexible architecture, technical practices, DevOps design, cultural norms, and transformational leadership. In the digital world we live in, every company is a software company, and the functions of the CIO have rarely been given the necessary attention. Businesses now demand best-in-class software delivered quickly, with no place for security breaches or outages. The functions of the CIO are now not measured by his operational efficiency; instead, it is evaluated by revenue generation, customer experience, and digital products. Value Stream Management (VSM) helps CIOs focus more on multiplying the flow of business from the customer request to the delivery process. VSM is a more systematic approach to improving and measuring flow as it helps enterprises in shortening time-to-market, provide better product quality, optimize business output, and increase throughput.
Globally, there are various companies specializing in delivering excellent solutions for VSM, but ConnectALL stands out from the rest. ConnectALL was born from noticing a major need. Software delivery was evolving faster than organizations could keep up. ConnectALL understood that there was a huge gap between the business and IT that VSM could fill. Companies need visibility; VSM allows them to see the entire value stream (for all teams, businesses, and technology) from front to end. Executives need predictability; VSM allows them to analyze data from their value stream to accurately forecast delivery. IT needs agility; VSM allows technology leaders to take steps to optimize their people, tools, and processes based on opportunities identified through seeing and measuring their value stream. The market was not naturally responding to meet those needs, so the founders created ConnectALL LLC in 2018 to effectively meet those critical needs.
A conversation with Lance Knight, President and COO of ConnectALL
Q. What does innovation mean to your firm?
Innovation means not accepting the status quo. Especially in young markets like value stream management, best practices are constantly changing. We see the importance of staying agile in this market and quickly adjusting our thinking based on customer needs. At the same time, we are constantly pushing our platform’s limits to meet the needs that our customers may not even realize they have. Innovation means exploring all possibilities, such as how adjacent technologies (such as AI and machine learning) can be leveraged within the scope of VSM.
Q. Tell us about the services that you offer.
Our organization is built upon three “pillars” that ultimately work together to deliver value: our products, services, and training. The first step is to train our customers on value stream management. We seek to leverage our thought leadership to answer the critical questions around VSM as a methodology: What is it? How does it work? Why does it matter? Once we’ve educated customers on how VSM enables them to see, measure, and automate their value streams, our consulting services allow organizations to understand how to utilize value stream management principles based on their unique environments. We offer value stream assessments, targeted consulting, product training, and custom tool integrations. These services enable our customers to not only identify the tools, people, and processes in their SDLC but also recognize opportunities to accelerate their Agile and DevOps journeys by optimizing their value stream. At this stage, our products within ConnectALL’s Value Stream Management Platform enable organizations to act on those specific recommendations. The Value Stream Visualizer allows them to see their entire value stream from beginning to end. Insights Analytics then harvests data from all the tools in their value stream into our common data model, displaying that data as actionable metrics that allow them to accurately measure their value streams. The platform will then utilize our adapters to automate the value stream to make it more effective, as integration, workflow orchestration, and governance controls can be enabled.
Q. How does ConnectALL stand apart from its competitors?
We know that value stream management is not a “one size fits all” tool. It is a methodology that must manifest in the most appropriate way for a company while also remaining easy to use. ConnectALL meets this need with our blend of tools and services. Our platform is highly customizable, as organizations can use our Universal Adapter to synchronize or draw data from pretty much any tool in their value stream. We also provide targeted recommendations based on our decades of experience through value stream assessments. This blend of our flexible tools alongside expert recommendations enables ConnectALL to deliver more effective value stream management capabilities than our competition, all while getting our customers up and running in a matter of hours.
Q. What role does the management play in sustaining a healthy work-culture at ConnectALL?
The culture created and exemplified by management is built around treating our ConnectALL colleagues as a family. We work hard to make sure our employees feel respected and part of the mission to help other companies through value stream management. Our leadership communicates the importance of what we do as an organization and the critical role that our people play in achieving that mission. Although we work hard, we also like to support a fun work environment, engaging with our team in a number of creative ways. As an example, our company held a virtual “Roast” for me, where employees were able to bring their best jokes and snarks to poke a little fun at my expense. This company’s foundation is built on no one taking themselves too seriously but linking arms and working together to achieve a common goal: to make our customers’ lives better through value stream management.
Q. What does the future hold for your company?
The future is very bright for ConnectALL. We are very encouraged by the increased awareness VSM is receiving in the industry, as analyst firms such as Forrester and Gartner are paying very close attention to this market. The key driver for us moving forward is a passion for people: we want to help organizations become more efficient and actively manage their value streams. ConnectALL is going to be building out greater capabilities this year and beyond within the three “pillars” of our organization: Products, Services, and Training. Our platform is going to continue evolving to meet the needs of our customers and constantly be refreshed to keep up with the times. We will continue innovating to expand our VSM capabilities, leveraging critical technologies such as predictive analytics to identify opportunities to optimize their value streams proactively. Our services offerings will expand to help aid organizations who want to learn how to implement VSM in their unique environments. We will continue growing in our coaching capabilities to improve how we can deliver value from the VSM methodology. Finally, we plan to establish ourselves as the premier thought leader in value stream management. We are developing programs and resources to train the market on value stream management strategies. Our years of experience have given ConnectALL the responsibility of educating organizations on why this matters and how they can use it. We are eager to press onward and play a role in driving greater value to the world through enabling complete value stream management.
Meet the leaders behind the success of ConnectALL
Brett Taylor, CEO of Goldfinger Holdings: Brett Taylor has been consulting in application lifecycle management (ALM) systems for over 20 years for a wide range of enterprise and government agency clients. Brett has a background in designing and developing ALM integrations and automation tools, from RCS to ClearCase to Git and Jira.
Lance Knight, President and COO of ConnectALL: Throughout his career, Knight contributed to the creation of successful futures for several companies by providing senior-level leadership for a broad range of products over six continents. Knight has held SVP and VP roles at LeadingAgile, Tasktop Technologies, and Accept Software, specializing in field operations, sales development, and customer success. He is the author of books and white papers on leadership, software development, and software sales. In his free time, Knight volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America, teaching leadership concepts to youth and adult volunteers.