Value Stream Modelling

Value Chains, Value Networks and Value Streams can be modelled with ArchiMate Value Stream -element, that is to be supported in the next version (3.1) of ArchiMate standard (2019).

A Value Chain is high-level view of an organization: how it works, how it delivers value, how its functions are organized within an operating model. A Value Stream, known as a Lean concept, is more detailed-level view, and can be defined for each of the organization’s main service- or product lines: how a specific service or product is produced to deliver value to customers. “Value streams provide valuable stakeholder context into why the organization needs business capabilities, while business capabilities provide what the organization needs for a particular value stage to be successful [Togaf 9.2].”

The distinction between the Value Chain and the Value Stream is not always crystal clear. In the simplest and smallest of organizations they can be the same, but in larger organizations there can be several Value Streams within one Value Chain. The IT4IT Value Chain is good example of a Value Chain, that consists of four Value Streams (link). For example, the typical Plan-Build-Run Value Chain can contain two Value Streams in the Plan phase as follows: Strategy to Portfolio and Idea to Portfolio.

An example Value Delivery Chain is illustrated in the figure below. Value can be associated with transitions between the value stream phases (a.k.a. stages). Capabilities can be linked to the value streams accordingly.

Value Delivery Chain.


  • Capabilities are “serving” the value stream stages
  • Capabilities can be grouped based on classifications such as supporting
  • Specific groups of capabilities are linked to certain value streams.
  • Resources can be assigned to Capabilities and Value Streams

This example above is included in the reference implementation that is created with Sparx EA, which can be found here: link. Navigate by clicking “Idea to Production” value stream in the middle of the landing page of the Lean Enterprise Architecture Framework (LEAF).

Value Stream

Togaf (9.2) defines a value stream as follows:

A representation of an end-to-end collection of value-adding activities that create an overall result for a customer, stakeholder, or end-user“.

Again, Togaf suggests to identify capabilities that supports each value stream stage. This can be achieved by modelling a capability map per each value stream stage, as shown in the figure 1 above. Togaf continues: “the most substantive benefits come from mapping relationships between the stages in a value stream to business capabilities“.

According to SAFe (link) there are two types of value streams: 1) Operational value streams and 2) Development value streams. Operational value streams (1) are used to deliver end customer value, and those define how organization makes its profit or fulfills its mission. Development value streams (2) are used to develop new (or modified) products, services, systems or capabilities, those of which enable operational value streams.

The example above is type of operational value stream (1). Here is a simplification of the value stream diagram (figure below).

Figure 2. Value Stream model.


  • Value Stream -element (figure below) is to be supported in the next version (3.1) of ArchiMate standard (2019).
  • Value Stream can consist of sub value streams called “stages”, those of which are modelled with the same value stream symbol (figure above).
Figure 3: Value Stream element.