Agile practitioners are often proud — and justifiably so — that when people are seriously adhering to the principles and practices, they keep the focus on value. They usually do a better job on average, I would argue from both first-hand experience and a fair amount of research, than the adherents of Waterfall methods. That’s not the same as saying that there’s not room for improvement. Value is a slippery concept. What’s valuable to you isn’t necessarily valuable to me. That statement extends to user stories, in which the “so that…” clause differs, depending on the persona identified in the “As a…” section that precedes it. We’re supposed to write stories that have some value Read more
Posts Tagged 'business-value'
Words shape thoughts. The word “requirements” has limited software professionals to a very narrow set of information about the value they produce. In the end, we’re supposed to be delivering software value, which is a much broader, more ongoing conversation than the content you create just before working on the code. While a switch to user stories helps start this transition away from traditional requirements, that’s only a step. How do we understand what capabilities will help the customer? Do we understand the customer at all? What hypotheses are we posing about the value of adopted software? How do we test these hypotheses, so we can make adjustments, if the software isn’t providing perceived value, Read more
While the problem of scaling Agile is getting the bulk of attention these days, I’ve been running into another problem quite frequently: the value dimension. There’s nothing in Scrum, XP, or other Agile approaches that mandates some calculation of value. From one perspective, I’m glad that they didn’t. Changing the principles and practices within teams didn’t require a gratuitous injection of value into the discussion, adding complexity and giving ammunition to naysayers. From another perspective, enough time has passed, and Agile has proved itself enough, to start thinking about value. For some people with whom I worked on a recent project, it was fundamental. They already had the odds stacked against them (lots of technical Read more
There are two strands of interest to the CIO, the CTO, the CEO and the rest of the executive team: strategy and delivery. The fundamental premise of Agility to the C-level is quite straightforward: “Merge” the two, so that: Delivery can start before strategy is complete Delivery informs strategy through tight feedback loops The net effect is faster/earlier delivery of products and service that are well suited to satisfy the needs of target markets. The paramount need to deliver faster/earlier is, for all practical purposes, dictated by today’s markets becoming hyper-segmented. For example, my (or your) Twitter network today is an evolving market segment. My Twitter network in March 2011 could easily be a different Read more
I try to keep up with what’s going on in the industry by reading magazines, articles, blogs, and so on. Perhaps it’s the economy, or just coincidence, but in the past few months, there seem to have been more than enough articles about the impotence of IT. One editorial in Information Week quoted a survey that asked IT professionals to rank 10 items that would contribute to improving their job productivity. Top items were: Better guidance from business leaders on the most important processes, measures, and metrics. A clearer sense of corporate strategy from top executives. More support from top executives to implement policies and procedures companywide. More money and more staff ranked at the Read more